Roll with it. Go with the flow. Usually I think I’m pretty good at this. I mean, I think it’s actually one of my strengths, being able to just go with whatever is happening instead of digging in my heels and bucking the tide. But still it happens where even in my best, most easy-going, yoga-breath moments it all becomes too much, and I find myself struggling to find that place of “enough.” And when I’m not at my best? Well, that was this weekend.
Friday morning started early, and I’m sure that I wasn’t rested enough anyway. No school because of the holiday weekend meant that we were not constrained to any particular routine, for better or worse. The day was shaping up to be pretty special, though, because we were anticipating a visit from long distance cousins (more playmates!), Daddy was coming home early, and it was my mom’s birthday with plenty of celebrating to do. But waiting is the hardest part, and our visitors weren’t set to arrive until just before lunch, and then were waylaid due to traffic and traveling difficulties, and so it was that we were on pins and needles, waiting, waiting. I did my best to occupy the Little Ones, trying to infuse semi-tired activities with new enthusiasm (Playdoh! Let’s make a feast! I’ll roll the hot dogs, you make the pancakes!)
We had a wonderful visit with cousins not seen often enough, so thankful are we for their dedication and love for us, and the welcome distraction of a well-played afternoon. Daddy came home early, but with kids climbing up his legs and hanging from his back, he confessed that he wasn’t feeling well and needed to lie down. (Didn’t see that coming, did I? Roll with it). And so it was that while the Little Ones skipped their afternoon naps because of our guests, Mark spent the afternoon in bed. We hugged our cousins good bye and sent them off, late afternoon cresting into early evening. After I checked on Mark, and it was clear that he was in no shape to join in the birthday celebrations for my mom, I tromped around the house coming to terms with my own ragged tiredness. The kids whined about not seeing their dad. I was all too glad to have some place else to go. I threw a pack of Saltines at Mark, said a quick “good bye” and half-hearted “hope you feel better,” and felt less enough than I have ever been.
Roll with it. Right. As the Littlest is buckled into his infant car seat, screaming, and the bigger kids are taking too long to get their shoes on. As I realize that the Middlest has pooped in her underwear. To the bathroom we go, screaming infant in tow. As, once that is sorted, we all manage to get into the car, buckled up, I open the garage door and see Mark’s car blocking our way. As the Littlest screams, and cries, and I can’t get this car moving soon enough to lure that guy into the sleep he so desperately wants. Enough. Somewhere in there is enough, but I couldn’t find it.
It was a long evening, after a long day, and once the bigger kids (who were so great) were tucked into bed, full up on birthday cake, I scurried around trying to figure out how to survive what I knew was to be a long night by myself. The Littlest and I slept in the other bedroom, after I created a makeshift space for the two of us to snuggle. And yes, it was a long night, but joy comes in the morning, right? With heavy eyes, heavy body I nervously tapped on my bedroom door that next morning, wanting nothing more than to see a rejuvenated husband and daddy. It was a rocky start, and I’m not sure our weekend ever recovered.
I have been less than graceful this weekend, less than gracious. My momentum to roll with things dried up somewhere around 5pm on Friday, and was clearly not enough to last the weekend. What makes this even harder for me is knowing that Mark will start a night shift on Monday, throwing our days on end for an indefinite period of time. This weekend left me dried up already, so clearly not enough to handle what little was being asked of me. And yet, in my absolute weakness I turned not to the One who redeems that, but instead threw my hands up, acting out in bitterness.
I don’t know what this week will look like, as Mark trades his normal working hours for ones that are skewed in awkward directions. I hope that I will reclaim my ability to go with the flow a bit more, to recognize where we can be pliable. I am certain that I will find my edges, and be made to see more clearly what “enough” looks like, in what I offer up, and in what I receive.