As it went, on Monday night I laid in bed and felt a little disappointed with myself. Not only had I not done anything celebratory, I hadn't done anything at all. Turns out I was just plain 'ol tired. So much so that I spent the day sleeping on and off. (You know, I don't think I've slept as much in my whole life as much as I have in this past year!) As usual, Courtney noticed that I was thinking pretty hard about something and talked things over with me. And, as usual, it helped.
As the week has gone on, I have pondered this whole way of thinking. Sometimes, I think we moms get stuck into thinking that in order to do it right, we have to do it perfectly. We hear a steady stream of well-meaning "enjoy every minute, it goes by so quickly!" and "they'll be grown before you know it". While I can understand the thought behind that advice (holy cow, my girls are growing up fast!), I think we trick ourselves into thinking that every moment of every day must be full of happy, healthy, laughter, and smiley-faced memories.
I'm not sure that is what Heavenly Father intended.
This morning, I woke up wishing it wasn't morning. Always tired, it seems. But, wanting to send the girls off my way, I got myself into the kitchen (filled to the brim with last nights dishes) and made some pancakes. I couldn't do that last year. I worked my way down the line, assembling four hair-do's, and played "down by the banks" while we waited for Kate and Emmy's bus. I hollered my usual "Choose The Right!" as they ran out the door, and read books with Claire while we waited excitedly for Aunt Amy to pick her up for her first day of preschool! It was two full hours of chaos. The rest of the morning was spent taking a bath with Mr. Sam, sorting laundry, and tidying up the homestead.
A good morning. Not perfect, but really good. It seems silly, but I could count on two hands the mornings we had like that last year- when I was awake and on my feet. I know a hot breakfast won't solve the world's problems, but it's just something that I enjoy doing.
While Sam napped, I did the dishes and thought about my life. How I don't have many (any!) perfect days, but a whole lot of good ones. Maybe that's a lesson I needed to learn, to enjoy the everyday-ness of my life. The laundry, sinks full of dishes, the chance to make pancakes for sleepy-eyed girls. The goodbye wishes and "how was your day?" moments. Throw in the time-outs, tearful bad moods, and teaching how-we-deal-with a-bad-day moments. It's all part of the package, and I realize that now more than ever. I will never, ever claim the last half of that deal to be my favorite, but if that's part of the price to pay to spend my days with the ones I love the most, I'll take it.
I guess what I'm trying to say is this: Sometimes I feel guilty that I don't have a fantastic mothering streak every second of every day. Especially this past year when "I should know better!" But here is the lesson I gained on my one-year-later day. I'm not sure that Heavenly Father expects me to build perfect days in order to show him I like this gig. Rather, I think the best way I can show my gratitude for being here-for being a mom- is to construct days for my family that are more happy than sad. More laughter than tears, and more kindness than selfishness. Hopefully one day my kids will look back and see just that. More happy.
This job of mine? This is where it's at, I tell ya.
Happy Anniversary to me.