It's still snowing, has been since last night, and I can hear the wind blowing. I'm constantly comparing this winter to last winter. I mentally check off that the last blizzard of winter 2010 occurred at the end of January, about a year ago. February was survived, and by the middle of March last year, all the snow had melted and we had one of the best springs and summers I can remember. It will happen again this year, right? A month and half from now we will be splashing in mud puddles, right? I better not think about it.
I wish I could get up earlier in the morning. I really do. I really want to. But it seems that 6:30 am is the earliest I can manage on a "normal" day without some extra activity requiring me to get up earlier. There's a lot I always want to do before the kids wake up: Bible study, Netflix work-out, blog....but there is usually not enough time and before I know it the kids are up and the day is in full gear. Then I blink my eyes and it's past 10:00 am and I've still got my pajamas on while juggling whatever it is that day usually brings - laundry, collecting library books to return, cooking, making shopping lists - with potty training attempts for the boy, all the "help me's," breaking up fights, and an occasional attempt at personal hygiene. I try to not even think about the glaring lack of nap time now, the fact that there is no promise of afternoon quiet to look forward to. There's no point in lamenting it.
So we make cookies and make supper, and I sneak in a few blogged words here and there while the kids decide to "go to Africa" (not sure where they got that idea) or fish out of the plastic picnic table turned upside down into a boat. But these short, short days in terms of daylight always seem so long and soon the sun has set and kids start hanging on mom. Requests, laments, and "I wants" are all delivered in a toe-curling whine. Constant reminders that "mom cannot understand a whiny voice. Please speak respectfully" are obliged momentarily but forgotten seconds later. Toys apparently loose all of their attraction after the sun sets, because no suggestion of play peaks interest. I am frantic for ideas of how to occupy time 'til Daddy gets home (and by the way, where is he? Did he drive into the yard without me noticing? Nope. No shed lights on. It's gonna be awhile. I'm not gonna think about it.)
I fold socks and re-direct behavior and state for the 381st time that "no, you may not have a snack or drink right now. We will be having supper soon." And in the madness of it all I notice my beach towels high on a shelf in the laundry room. An idea pops into my head which evolves into the following course of events:
"Jack and Ava! Let's go hunting for jungle animals!" There is sudden quiet and attentiveness.
"You two wait in the laundry room while I hide the jungle animals, and then you can hunt for them!"
Excitement and cheers ensue. The girl declares she needs a flashlight. The boy states he needs a gun. I turn and grab a flashlight out of the drawer and hand it to the girl in one motion, but it was still enough time for the potty training boy to have an accident all over the laundry room floor. So I haul him off to the bathroom for a change and a cleaning, wipe up the floor, and proceed with the adventure.
Ava needs help turning on the flashlight and a quick flip of the switch tells me the batteries are dead. So I tell my hunters to stay where they are at while I run down to the basement to fetch two AAs out of the husband's handy yet thoroughly anal battery storage and organization center.
With everyone finally armed and loaded and waiting inside the laundry room, I hide the jungle animals. And by jungle animals I really mean beach towels with tigers and leopards on them. And by hiding I really mean hanging from various doors and hooks in the house. One of the towels has a panda bear on it, and I'm pretty certain they're protected, but I'm not gonna think about it.
And it works.....sort of....because apparently hunting jungle animals is more fun with mom. So the socks won't get folded, the clean dishes won't get put away, and this blog post will never get finished, but I'm not gonna think about it because following the kids around the house in the dark with a flashlight is sorta fun.
So what will I think about as I dizzy myself with everything I'm not thinking about? When winter rages on, when I'm tired, when the husband's not home yet, when the house is now scattered with beach towels, what will I hand-over-hand, white knuckle gripped steer my mind towards?
The little blessings, the big blessings, the way they really do out number the annoyances...
And I read over at the blog that rocks my world these words:
the reward of the unhurried is the real life
Counting some more today with everyone else over at A Holy Experience. Read today's post and a hundred more thanks by clicking HERE.
Thanks Lord for:
#131. 24 hours away up north with the husband and no kids
#132. a beautiful wedding to attend
#133. the husband dancing 4 (say it with me, FOUR!) slow dances with me without any subtle prompting from me
#134. and that he danced 2 fun dances with me (even though I am sure he felt awkward)
#135. the tots having so much fun at Grandma's
#136. traveling time in the car to read
#137. grace from the husband with no words or complaints when I was uncharacteristically (or at least I would like to think that way) unplanned and unorganized for our little trip away
#138. that spring will come, the snow will not last forever. It might not be today, tomorrow or even a month from now, but the snow will melt and the sun will shine someday
#139. a quiet day even with all of the aforementioned
#140. monster cookies cooling on the counter
#141. that we still got to have supper together as a family today
#142. the way the husband scans my face when he gets home in an effort to determine the "temperature" of the home
#143. the sound of children gleefully having a tea party
#145. the screams of little girls being chased by "tigers"
#146. the sounds of little boys pretending to be tigers
#147. that my 3 year old boy isn't the only one who throws things in anger and is selfish
#148. the little girl wanting to clean up her room before going to bed
#149. the gentle snores of a very tired husband with more snow to move tomorrow morning
#150. warm air blowing on my bare feet while I type away