Submitted by Jennie Rowen:
Last night I had a plan. It entailed getting the kids to bed early so that I could watch a movie and then go to bed too. So, at about 7:45 I started directing the kids to their rooms so I could read with them and send them off to dreamland. My two-year-old was first, and because he didn’t have a nap, he went to sleep pretty easily–we just had to read Where the Wild Things Are and roar our terrible roars. Emma was next. She was sleeping with me last night so we curled up into my bed to read Narnia–two chapters. Lastly, Abbie. She was in her room reading Les Miserables, but was getting tied up in some of the French so she finished up with a good Nancy Drew mystery. Done. 8:45 P.M.
I walked down stairs, got the movie going, and snuggled up into one of our extra soft blankets. I was feeling relaxed. Not ten minutes into the movie I heard Abbie calling down to me. Ignore. If she really needs me, she knows where I am. Five minutes after that Emma came down and was determined that I download some music that she had to learn for drama camp the next morning. I took a deep breath and went to the computer with her. Ten minutes later, we still didn’t have it downloaded and she was back in bed–of course she needed to be tucked back in. I finished up and walked down stairs. Ten more minutes pass and Matthew cried out MOMMY!!. Back up the stairs. He was sitting up in bed crying. I asked him if he needed to go to the bathroom and I scooped him up in my arms and helped him take care of business. Then I laid him back down and slept with him for a few minutes–his favorite.
It was while I was lying with Matthew that I remembered how I used to walk into Abbie’s room when she was just a baby. I liked to go in there while she was sleeping and smell her. I would get real close and touch her cheek with my nose, then take a deep breath. She was so soft and would often smell of shampoo. How I loved that smell. Matthew smelled like that last night too. I lay there wondering if I was ever going to get back to my movie. Please…just a couple of hours of peace.
I did get to finish my movie. In the story the woman found herself–she found joy through cooking.
When the show ended I went back up to bed. The whole house was quiet and dark. Emma was sleeping quietly where Mark would have been if he were home. I felt tired (it was 11:30 P.M.) but happy. I thought about the movie and how the gal discovered that by doing something she loved and by following a great example she was her happiest. The same is true for me. What brings me so much joy? My husband and kids. I love them. It was ironic that I felt such a surge of love for the kids after trying to get free from them all night long. Though I initially wanted to get some time to myself-and we all need that, by the end of the night I really felt so thankful for those three soft, warm sleeping kids. They take all my energy, all my heart and all my self control. I am thankful that I am not left alone in my endeavor of motherhood. Thank goodness for that.
Tonight I will be home alone again. I’ll probably try to watch another movie I haven’t gotten around to yet. The kids will most likely catch me eating ice cream (after I tell them they can’t have any) or will wake up a gazillion times at the best parts of the show–or even worse, come down stairs for a drink of water while I am sitting in a heap, crying at the sad parts.
I wonder what life lessons I have in store for me tonight.