Our beige box is slowly becoming a home. The kids’ artwork is finding its way to the fridge. My favorite prints are finally hung on the wall. The windows are covered. There are crumbs everywhere, and dog hair too. Random articles of clothing are tucked under the desk and in between the cushions of the living room couch. Library books litter my bedside table and kids toys are splayed in all directions in our new bathroom. The house has become home.
So it follows, naturally, that all the same old parenting obstacles have followed me here: to this sunny, warm, and absolutely gorgeous (dare I say heaven sent) day. Days like this have been few and far between.
I would like nothing better than to take these three kids to the pool and dip my toes in water, and enjoy watching them play. Of course, they won’t really though. On days like this they mostly bicker and hang off my suit while I desperately try to keep it from falling off. “CATCH ME!” they demand. “HOLD ME!” And I do. And most of the time I enjoy it, or tolerate it fairly well anyhow.
But here’s the thing. My youngest is exhausted and has been since she woke up. She has been rude, disrespectful, demanding, and for lack of a better word, screamy. Needless to say, I have no interest in taking Ms. Screamy Pants to a pool. And the older two cannot be in the same room. But a short moment ago, the eldest kicked her brother hard in the shins for reasons unknown. Then apologized. Apology refused. And then came threats about how she will never ever play with him ever again since he doesn’t accept her apology. And now his weeping. Then the minute long explanation in a desperate ploy to stave off verbal condemnation.
They are all in their rooms. Not really as punishment but more in my own protection. I am fragile right now. And I can’t afford to break. I know after all, that home is wherever I am. They follow my lead, they do what I do.
But what if I feel like I am not fit to lead? What if I don’t know what I’m doing?
It doesn’t seem to matter because here I am. Clueless about how/when to sort out a fight. Unsure how to enforce rules and pick battles. Floundering without the structure of school and the freedom of just a few hours to myself. And despite all this, I am still the Mom.
So as we step into the new house, and away from the old, it turns out all the old questions stay with me. Near or far, small or big, old or new, snow or heat, the questions remain the same. And the truth does too.
We walk this earth with our feet on the ground.
Peace, kindness, love, and care (starting with ourselves) is the best we can offer any day, any time.
We don’t have all the answers and we never will.
These days I am focusing on the things that are always true, the things that remain the same.
The good, the bad, the ugly. Here they are. So this is home.
And that’s the truth.