Well, we finally did it. We broke our own record. I didn’t think it was possible, but we did it. This morning we were later than we have ever been getting the kids to school. Now, you might be thinking, “What is the big deal?” So, I’ll tell you.
I am the very happy/tired/proud Mommy of five of the most beautiful kids the world has ever seen. They are also the children most determined to never get to school early. We have been early, on occasion, or when I forget about late start day. But for the most part, we resemble a pack of stressed out circus clowns trying to fit into a white minivan, racing toward the school at a barely legal speed. Cue the calliope…
But today was different. I’m working on being better. At everything. (Aren’t we always?) Better homemaker, better wife, better with money, better Mommy, and generally, healthier in every way. It’s as exhausting as it sounds, and an exhausted Mommy tends to be a cranky Mommy. But as tired as I am from being and doing, I am even more tired of being a stressed Mommy. So I made a decision. I could snap at my kids and try to make them buckle their seatbelts at the speed of light, and strive and strive the duration of the drive to their school, while rehashing everything they did that made us late, or….? Or, I could just relax, and have fun with it. My kids are growing up, so fast I don’t always feel like I can catch up. Yes, it’s hard having 5 children under the age of ten, but they won’t always be. Before I know it they’ll be getting ready for much more than elementary school.
So, I laughed. At myself. At us. At our always running late. At what the secretary at their school must think of my parenting. At all of it. I turned around and really looked at my children, trying so hard to get in the van as quickly as possible, and saw them. Maybe for the first time this morning. And I smiled as I proclaimed, “Hey guys, we did it! We are later than we have ever been before!” Then I unbuckled myself and high-fived them all while giving detailed congratulations. “Good job, Ellie! Man, you really helped us. If you wouldn’t have thrown that fit about wearing socks, we couldn’t have made it.” “Nicely done, Jonah! You were so great at misplacing your homework and glasses! We really needed that to be this late.” And so on. Not sarcastic. Just really glorying in what our life looks like. Knowing who we are right now and celebrating it. By the time I was done talking, the kids were all laughing and smiling. The twins added in little ways they had helped us be late & made sure they got proper recognition for their endeavors. And we laughed, all the way to school.
We also decided that like every record-breaking event, we needed to make a cake to commemorate the occasion. So, tonight we are eating Late Cake. It’s cooling now, just waiting for the chocolate frosting. But we already got to taste the sweetness of living in the moment. It would not have changed their lives for my children to have been on time for school this morning, not much anyway. But having a Mommy who makes sure they know that her love is unconditional, well, that just might. I am so excited to eat Late Cake for dessert, instead of gnawing regret.