As I look at these pictures from our recent day trip to Mystic, Connecticut, I am reminded of these lyrics: “Happiness is relative, based upon the way we live.” I forget where I heard them but they stuck in my head. Happiness is indeed a place founded on emotional highs and smooth sailing seasons of life…happiness does not survive well in the darker places when everything just feels hard and complicated.
Last Saturday was a day of smiles and laughter and the gift of new surroundings and change, but then the nitty gritty of life set in again. The many tantrums, the screams of a two year old who is daily reminded to “use her words” and “practice self control,” the worries of making sure Amelia is getting enough caloriesfor the day. Feeling like I have to be the cruel task master most of the day, keeping my troops from killing one another or breaking mirrors from high pitched screeching. I wonder if it ever gets easier. I mean…I deserve a little break, don’t I? The very self-pity I reprimand my four year old for is thriving inside my heart too.
And then we have a good day today…I see light today, I see hope today. As we do the long walk to the library and then the playground with out any tantrums or dramatic episodes, I am thankful and cherish the memory of feeling like this day was a day in which we really soaked in the enjoyment of each other. Oh I want to hold on to the memory of days like this…happy days.
But what if tomorrow is another upside down day? What if nothing goes right? What if my children act as if they have never known correction a day in their life and I get horrified looks from passers by? Will I be able to feel be joyful whatever the circumstances might be?
And then, some day far off, I will be gray haired, walking down the street and watching young moms, still in the thick of things, as they push their strollers down the street or deal with an unruly youngster and I know, I know that I will be wistful and miss those days. I know there will be things I would wish I had done much differently. I know I will see their gritted teeth and want to say to them, like so many older moms say to me right now, “these days go by so quickly! Cherish them!”
If I live for the happy moments, these days will not be cherished days because those moments come and go. But with a mindset of joy and gratitude, the days can be filled with more stability and promise. But oh is being a stay-at-home-mom a refining job! My character is just as much constantly in question as the character of my children…at times I am utterly appalled at myself. I see God’s sense of humor in putting me in this role because it is so much infinitely bigger than anything I can do on my own…it is humbling beyond belief and I daily testify to the fact that I will not be writing a parenting book anytime soon unless of course it is titled, “Parenting: What NOT to Do!”
Any interested readers?:)