When your daily activities are in concert with your highest priorities, you have a credible claim to inner peace. – Hyrum Smith


Just a night in the life

We are still living in Asia.  We've been here for just over 2 years.  It is hot and sticky tonight.  The air con (that's what they call it here) is on the fritz again, so I am sweating as I type.  Maddie is humming to herself in the room across the hall.  Jack is up in my bed, Caleb is in the boys' room, Parker is at a sleepover, and Aaron is traveling [as he does quite frequently in this role].  My only company is the  giant [4 inch], tailless lizard making his rounds, presumably living off the plethora of insects hiding out in one of our million cupboards.  Seriously, the designer of this place was obsessed with cupboards.  But back to tonight...

Tonight we arrived home late after a play date where we left Parker for his sleepover.  As I locked the front door, Caleb whipped around, his little brow furrowed.  "Hey mom!  We fo-got Pahkuh!" he shouted, in a panic.  I assured him it was all part of the plan, and though he cried, he managed to console himself in a bowl of chocolate chip ice-cream.  Why, yes, sugary, fat-laden foods do help to ease the pain of those troubling emotions.  Stuff it down some more, my boy.  (I know what you're thinking, "What an awesome mom!")

Once everyone had a small bowl of ice-cream (the consolation prize for not getting to be at a sleepover themselves), I marched them up the stairs, brushed teeth, said our prayers, and raced for my room without looking back.  I couldn't wait to get into my bed!  So why am I blogging about it and not actually in bed right now?  Because they followed me.

Not at first.  At first, I was congratulating myself on my resolve.  I activated my selective listening skills when Jack started to whine about his toe hurting.  You know, that toe he dropped the glass bowl on this afternoon?  You know, that glass bowl he wasn't supposed to be using?  The one that rolled off his toe and broke?  My compassion levels might have been a little bit low at the moment...Anyway, he tried to convince me he needed to sleep in my "comfy" bed to get rest.
Nope.  Next?  
Caleb chimes in, crying that he wants to join in the [nonexistent] pajama party.
Not tonight.  Love you.  Buh-Bye!
I engaged in the ugliest of sprints as I tripped over all manner of toys and junk on my way out of their room and eeked out just enough self-control to not slam the door.  It was like a horror movie scene where the person in distress has to get away quickly but somewhat quietly, eyes wild, desperate to escape.

What did I need?  Quiet.  In a day filled to the brim with noise, I knew what awaited me in my room...And there it was.  Quiet!  I changed into pajamas, thought for a second about how lame it was to go to bed at 8:30, shrugged, and hopped in bed.  Ahhh.

Then I heard the first sob.  Then the next.  Maddie or Jack?  Oh man.  Scowling, I swung my feet off the bed and ripped open my door, the very picture of motherly concern.  Maddie was at the bottom of the steps, her eyes filled with tears.  "I can't find Dot Blankie."  I know that given it's wildly imaginative name, it might be hard to tell what Dot Blankie is, but let me ruin the surprise: it's a blanket with a dot design.  And at that moment, I didn't care much about it's location.  I cared that Maddie's location was outside of her bed.  We found it in my bed and I sent her back to hers.  I settled back into my pillows.

Then I heard the next cry.  You have got to be kidding me.  Jack entered the room.  "Mommy, my toe rea-wee hurts.  I need to sweep in your bed tonight."  Whatever.  There was plenty of room since Aaron was gone.  "Just get in," I mumbled.



"Jack?  Are you making those noises because your toe still hurts?"

"Yes, I fink I need an icepack."  At this point my conscience kicks in and I remember the pain of losing a toenail when a heavy item was dropped on my toe.

"Jack, how would you like some medicine that will help with that?"  I get up to get the Tylenol.

As I head down the stairs, I hear a voice, "Daddy...please...(inaudible mumbling)...please...(crying).  I pop my head in Maddie's room.  Her eyes are shut tight, tears shining on her cheeks.  I placed my hand on her head.

Her eyes flew open.  "Oh mom, I was just trying to send a message to dad, and then I was praying to God that he would hear it."

"What was the message?"

"That I miss him and want him to come home."

"Mommeeeeeeee??" shouts a voice from above.

"I'm coming with the medicine, Jack!" I call up the stairs.  "Maddie, why don't you try to actually call daddy rather than send him a thought message?  That way he can talk back to you."

I could keep writing because this night goes on and on.  In fact, as I was typing, Caleb awoke to find Parker missing (darn those tricky sleepovers) and began sobbing.  I stopped to pat him back to sleep.  Maddie talked to Aaron, Jack took his medicine, and it is finally QUIET.  Though I know it won't last, that's okay.  This is just a night in the life of our family right now.  Now I'm off to enjoy this [temporary] quiet.  Good night!

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