Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Parenthood

Exactly three years ago today, Billy and I became parents when two-day-old Mikea was brought to our home.  Three years later we are parenting five children and asking ourselves, how did this happen and how will we survive?  The only way to deal with it is knowing that our family was brought together by the hand of God.  Apparently He thinks we can handle it.

Right now we're in the middle of one of the rough seasons.  Every child is currently battling at least one form of sickness.  Today I had to make a special trip to the store for extra toilet paper and pull-ups, if that gives you any idea of what we're dealing with.  Joe has already missed 3 days of school, including what would have been his first-ever field trip today.

Each night either Billy or I spend 3 hours away from home as we take turns visiting Adrianna in the hospital.  It's starting to take a toll on us, but I tell myself that if she were home we'd still be exhausted because we'd be up in the middle of the night for her feedings.  It's also mentally and emotionally exhausting not knowing what the outcome will be.

Right now the house is a disaster.  Books, blocks, shoes, socks, clothes, pillows, packs of toilet paper, toy phones, toy dishes, blankets, and stuffed animals litter the floor.  The dinner dishes are still on the table, and bits of dinner are still on the floor.  (For some reason the dogs won't eat lettuce.)  The laundry room is bursting with what else but laundry, laundry, and more laundry.

Today I struggled to get all four children to take naps at the same time so I could have a few moments of peace and quiet.  It didn't happen. 

Today I pulled a 15-month-old down off of the table countless times.  I chased and snatched him off of the stairs even more times.  I also watched him pull bags of frozen vegetables from the freezer and perfect the fine art of the temper tantrum. 

Today I cleaned poop off the floor, off of clothes, off of multiple behinds.  I picked up dog poop from the back yard.  My kids watched too much TV.

Today I made the mistake of not previewing an online video before letting my kids watch it. What began as a benign clip of a soaring falcon ended with it picking apart and eating a bat.

Tonight during dinner my oldest son held up his hamburger and said matter-of-factly, "Mom, nobody likes these." I don't think he meant to insult me. I laughed to keep from crying.  Then I left the table.

Tonight while reading bedtime stories, I was interrupted at least eight times to correct misbehavior or to stop the incessant barking of dogs. (It's a lot like having two more children.)

Tonight while singing bedtime songs to the boys, Mikea came over from her room and shushed me.  Apparently I was singing too loudly.  And after singing to Mikea, when I checked on the boys again, Joe informed me, "Dan just slobbered on me."  

There are days when I long to be able to just jump in the car and go to the mall, the library, the park.  I wouldn't even mind bringing a kid or two.  But it's impossible with four.  And someday with five?  What's harder than impossible?

It's a grueling life, I tell you.

But do you know what else I did today?  Today I taught my children how to play Follow-the-Leader, which is a lot more fun when you have five players.  Today I caught a fuzzy caterpillar and watched my children examine it in excitement. Today I witnessed Daniel bring a blanket and favorite toy to Joe who was miserably sick on the couch.  Today I heard Mikea tell her daddy that he is "a nice man". Today Baby Adrianna gained two more ounces. And today I recieved countles hugs and kisses from four children who are teaching me how to love, even more than I am teaching them.

All I ever wanted in life was to be a wife and mother.  I have it all, and then some, including that "nice man" who is at Wal-Mart at 11:00 at night picking up a few missing pieces for butterfly, spider, and pirate costumes for his children.

I had no idea it would be this hard, but I also had no idea it would be this sweet. 

Thank you, God.

2 comments:

Kate said...

Thank you for sharing your joys and struggles as you travel through life surrounded by those 5 little blessings! Your honesty and strength shine through every word. I'm praying for you today. :-)

Rachelle said...

I can relate to this post....I never knew motherhood could be so hard or so sweet. And I am so very thankful that you and I both managed to find some of the last really wonderful men in the country. :) I wish I were closer to help but I'm saying a prayer for you right now.