Yesterday was a pretty good day….then my kids got off the bus.
Now, don’t throw anything at me. I am without fail, waiting with a smile and a “Welcome home! I missed you and I love you.” every single day. It is just that yesterday, was one of those days when nothing much goes the way it should. It was one of those days when it seemed 4 out of 5 of my children had brains and hearts coated with Teflon. Nothing stuck. Nothing.
My soon to be 12 year old led the way in driving me to the brink of insanity by announcing immediately upon entering the kitchen that he was impossibly behind on one of three major projects. A large portion of this project was due the next day and he had accomplished virtually nothing. He went on to deliver a well scripted excuse about how he had been sick and just “not had time” to do the work. I reminded him that he goofed off all weekend and sent him to his desk.
Meanwhile, daughter number two revealed she had gone another day without eating or drinking anything all day. It seems she too just does not have “time” to do so at lunch. (My kids are so busy!) Climbing the kindergarten social ladder during lunch seems to leave little time for the actual consumption of food. While I was distracted with her, my three year old and five year old abandoned nap-time for outside play.
Then, I began preparing dinner while simultaneously fielding homework questions. A few moments later, my oldest daughter came in with an announcement.
“uuuhhh, Mommy, I think you had better check on the little ones.” she said.
I went outside to find them in the sandbox, happily…….
pouring sand over the tops of each other’s heads.
Now, if you have never attempted to remove sand from the hair of a Black child, you can not appreciate this moment. I however, have had this unfortunate experience before.
Roseline’s hair was white.
I have to admit that at this moment there was a scenario in which I delivered a few choice threats which prompted the kids to run for their lives. I caught them however, because I am fast and told them to sit on the back porch until I decided what to do with them. I finished preparing dinner while I contemplated how best to handle the mess. There is no reason to go into every detail but I can tell you that it involved stripping them down to their underwear on the back porch and a water hose. One child thought it was a blast. The other was sure it was torture, which illustrates the difference between a boy and a girl.
You see, I am telling you these things because I want you to know our family is real. Not every moment is the kind we want to hold on to forever, and yet those are the moments we can never seem to forget. Some days begin with a well spent hour in the gym but end with me finding misplaced comfort in half a dozen chocolate chip cookies. It would be nice if all of the moments were sweet smelling and wrapped in a soft white towel, but the truth is that many of them are more like Afros coated in sand. There are moments when encouraging, edifying words escape me and I find it is better to just be silent than say something I regret.
But God is in those moments too. He is there when we forgive an offense for the hundreth time because we remember He has forgiven us so much more. He is there when we doubt our call, hang our heads in our hands and say, “I don’t want to do this anymore.”
And rise the next morning to do it anyway because we believe He is transcendent of our circumstances.
He is there when we struggle to see progress and perservere nonetheless, because we believe He is faithful.
And I am so, so thankful.
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”