Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A Pivotal Moment

I felt my internal radar sound the alarm. There was no specific alert I could name, but rather a combination of sounds and absence of sounds that I knew usually meant trouble. A giggle that was a little bit hyper. Voices that turned to whispers, and a soft closing of a door. All three kids working together without conflict (if that doesn’t mean trouble, I don’t know what does). I ran up the stairs two at a time and very quietly opened the door.

Immediately all 3 kids froze. I took in the scene, and I’m sure there was an expression of shock on my face. A huge pile of blankets, pillows, and to top it off, the huge rug from our living room. As I sat there wondering how in the world they got such a heavy and large rug all the way up the stairs, a small smile broke across my face, and I laughed.

As the laugh broke free, the tension and slight fear dissipated from the three little ones staring intently at my expression. They all began to laugh, even rolling around on the floor with joy. One ran up to me, hugging my legs, and said “Mommy, I thought you were going to be mad”.

In that moment, I was reminded of how easily it could have gone the other direction. I could have been upset. I could have handed out reprimands and punishments. I could have been mad, and they would have started crying, which would have made me frustrated and angry. I’m so glad I smiled. I’m so glad I laughed. I still told them to clean up, and to return the rug. But, said with a smile, they accepted it, and even complied without difficulty.

I hope I can do it more often. I try to remind myself constantly that these days, though they seem long, are short, and I should cherish the moments. I don’t do it as often as I should, but I want to do more laughing. I want to respond with humor instead of annoyance. I want to enjoy the moments, to remind myself that it is just a rug… just a glass of milk… just a bathroom full of water- and laugh with them as we clean the mess together. It worked out magically today, and I hope to repeat it often.

This is a post I was writing for the Deep South Moms blog. However, they will be closing that site, no longer publishing posts. I have enjoyed writing and being a part of that collaborative effort. I will miss the challenge to produce better posts, and I will miss reading the thoughtful and evocative posts from the other writers. I will also miss being able to get freebies now and then. Goodbye, DSM, and thank you for the opportunities.


Jennifer Horton said...

Man! I've been thinking about this a lot lately too, the laughing part. Raising children brings out the best and worst of us, and I've definitely felt more serious, if that were possible. Loved this post though. So right on.

Rebecca said...

Oh such good thoughts. I know the battle between getting mad and seeing the humor all too well. I wish I laughed with them more often. What a great reminder!

I too will miss DSM... I hope to find another outlet for some better,more focussed writing from me. Or maybe just work more on my sight.

ali said...

do you want to know what the difference is? Stainable liquids. They've been ruining lighthearted mess moments since the dawn of time.

Can't you just hear Eve yelling at one of her kids for spilling grape juice on her favorite fig leaf? If it had been water, she could have laughed it off.

Cecilee said...

Thanks for this reminder. I wish I could laugh more often too. You are so right.