time out

by Amy

tantrums on the floor.  screaming for no reason.  boo boo lips.  tears all down the cheeks.

it was time for mama to take a time out.  the morning was hard.  the clothes i so carefully laid out didn’t seem to ever make it on their little bodies, clearly due to lack of effort.  whining started over an unrequested breakfast and evolved into grumbles about the plans for our day.  ears that normally hear the slightest noise of a candy wrapper crinkle (in mama’s hand in mama’s closet…in secret) couldn’t hear a direct request less than three feet from their lobes.  what is wrong with these little people this morning?

silence.  we drive in silence to an errand that had to be done, not because of anger but because i think all of us just really liked the sound.  random questions start to bounce around as random answers are thrown in the mix.  everything from ‘what is a hooterus’ (uterus…we home school…odd stuff comes up…just go with it) to talks about fall colors to singing the christopher columbus rhyme…they all happen in this car ride.  they get me laughing but my mind is on other things.  dinner, a talk i have to give the next day, my current to-do list of photography jobs, the laundry, if i remembered to send a thank you to a friend…stuff like that.

we get home and all the crazies starts again.  i can’t handle it so i put myself in time out…and i pray.  you know the funny thing about prayer?  sometimes God shows us just how ugly we are.  here i am begging for my children to be put back to normal and i am called out instead.  that burns.  like icy hot, it burns.  it hurts a bit at first but starts to feel cool…and comforting.  as i am praying, my phone alerts me to a new email i just received…and i stop praying to check it.  eek.  i just wrote that.  yeah…i know…i stopped praying to check my phone.  God doesn’t send emails.  it didn’t hit me until i opened the email, read it and got in a feeling of pressure to answer it immediately.  out of no where, all three kids come scrambling to my side with three different request in three different pitches that, when combined, made my head spin and ears hurt.

all of a sudden, it was made very clear to me.  there was nothing wrong with these three little people today.  it was me.  i was allowing worry to take over and it was making me ugly.  maybe dinner will be nachos tonight because that is easy.  maybe the laundry won’t get done today but it will have to someday lest we plan on starting a nudist colony.  maybe i have to stay up until midnight working to get things done.  and maybe the thank you note can wait a day or two more.  right now, i need to take some time out and cuddle with my kids.  i need to kiss their foreheads, squeeze them tight and let them know they are so very important.  i need to shut off my brain, give them my full attention and let my job as mommy be the only thought on my mind.  we have games to play, books to read, bikes to ride…and then…I will teach them how to fold laundry.