Crazy, Chaotic and full of Love
Today started out as a rainy mediocre kind of day. This morning I didn't accomplish all I had hoped to at work, I longingly anticipated a call that never came and I am fighting a cough and cold that has been a tremendous energy sucker. This afternoon though, things began to change. My oldest daughter called "just to talk" but said she really didn't have anything to say. Two and a half hours later, it was one of the best "nothing to say" conversations I've had.
Later this afternoon, Lance and I took our youngest to ballet and watched as she had her last class rehearsal before the big recital next week. It was a frenzy of excitement as they were given their new costumes and got to wear them for the duration of class. As the evening began winding down, I decided to run to Lowes to grab a gallon of paint to prepare to paint the room that Tiva will soon call her own. It's the coveted kid's room with the most space and huge walk-in closet. The transition is a big one, not only for her, but in general because we are repurposing 3 bedrooms simultaneously. It's quite the feat, but will be so worth it and will make our home more functional when it's complete. As I was headed out the door for the paint, The Tornado stopped me and begged to go. Against my better judgement, I agreed and off we went. It was nearing seven o'clock, and I knew she was getting tired. I have learned from past experience that she becomes hyperactive and anything can trigger her and cause her to become dis-regulated, which can quickly escalate to a tantrum or rage of epic proportion. But... I agreed to let her come because "We are only going to pick up a gallon of paint", I reasoned in my head. Quick in and out, I thought. Nearly 45 minutes after arriving at the store, we exited, me trying to push the humongous race car shopping cart that I had wrongly judged would "help" us to have a smooth shopping experience, and The Tornado, flailing and screaming as I tried to keep her from bolting in to the parking lot. As I tried to ditch the cart, I realized there was no way I could carry my flailing, screaming child, the gallon of paint, stir stick, my purse and the pillow we brought to match paint colors. So, there I went, nearly dragging my child by the neck as she repeatedly attempted to squirm out of my arms, all the while screaming at the top of her lungs to make sure that every single person within a 5 mile radius of Lowes could watch us in horror as we struggled to get to our car. It was then that I realized that I've changed. I didn't feel the overwhelming need to explain to the people staring and judging my parenting that my daughter was prenatally drug and alcohol exposed and that I'm not a bad parent, she's just having a hard time. The only thing I wanted to say was, "Well are you just going to stand there and stare at us, or will you help us, because if you're not gonna help, step aside, so I can get her safely to my car." I wasn't ashamed and in that moment of total chaos, as I'm struggling and sweating, in what seemed like trying to wrangle a wild rabid monkey to the car, I felt a sense of peace. I'm doing my best, even though I occasionally have a lapse of good judgement, we are okay. And even though it didn't seem like it in that moment, we are truly settled and that feels good.
As I laid in bed with my little Tornado tonight, we said bedtime prayers. I thanked God for our good times and the trials because it has helped me to grow as a mom and as a person. It has helped us to accept others as they are and accept our own differences. It has challenged me to find peace and joy in the chaos, to not worry about what others think so much and to be confident that I am doing my best and that IS good enough. I quickly drifted off to sleep, but was woken by our youngest son who called wanting my perspective on life, specifically some of his choices he was about to make. He apologized for calling at such a late hour, not realizing what time it was and knowing I wake very early. I forgave him, and allowed myself a few minutes to wake up enough to focus. He talked, I listened, I talked and he listened and after we were all done, he thanked me for my perspective and I hung up with a happy heart, knowing that we are all just trying to make the right decisions in life not always knowing what that is. We all fall short at times, but that's okay. We are not called to judge each other, we are called to love each other. "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone". If that's the case, I'm out! When I finally curled up in my husbands arms, tears welled up in my eyes. Twenty-five years ago, THIS is what I had hoped and envisioned my life to be like. Maybe not the screaming, flailing rabid monkey part, but THIS... the love of family. Ending the day snuggled in my husbands arms and knowing that through our own struggles, occasional poor decisions and lack of judgement, we fought to create this life of love. It hasn't always been easy, but here we are... 25 years in, and more in love than the day we said "I do"'. Laying on my back, I looked up and saw the sparkly, fluffy, pink tutu that was hanging from our beautiful canopy bed. I smiled. THIS. Crazy, chaotic and full of love...This is our life. My heart is full. ❤️