We’ve just finished our first month of summer vacation. I had grandiose plans. I scoured Pinterest over the last week for ideas on ways to make our summer together AMAZING! I pinned and pinned like I was building my “awesome activities” arsenal. I was going to have kids simply dumbfounded by the sheer amount of coolness overload to be bestowed upon them.
It rained. The kids whined. I did not implement said awesomeness. Instead, I yelled, I put kids in time out, I ranted, I hid in the bathroom (hallelujah for alone time), and watched the clock while praying for bedtime to approach quickly.
Friends, I was in a funk. A REAL funk. I have been trying sooooo hard not to be. I’m trying to remind myself that my beautiful boys will only be little for a fraction of my life. I’m trying to find zest and meaning in the mundane. But I really, really miss my work world. The kind of work that involves problem-solving. I mean REAL problem-solving and not the type of getting out food stains. Sure, I get accolades from my kids sometimes. In fact, just yesterday, Sonny told me I was really good at doing the laundry. AND THAT’S WHEN I WANTED TO CRY.
I’m so much more than a launderer, cook, chauffeur, scrape healer, janitor, bed-maker, vitamin dispenser, and homework supervisor. Yet, I wonder if my kids see that. Don’t get me wrong. I KNOW I’m blessed to be home with them. But, I also want my boys to know that I am smart, a contributor to society, and a leader.
Today I practiced gratitude while conquering the mounds of laundry.
I sorted colors, turned socks inside out, and grumbled. But then I said to myself:
“You are LUCKY to have a large amount of clothes to wash. There are people with nothing.”
Later in the day, as I was cleaning the bathroom and aggravated with the boys because of their lousy aim (seriously, why CAN’T they hit the target???), I stopped the complaining mid-thought. I had to remind myself AGAIN to be thankful:
“You are blessed to have multiple bathrooms and a comfortable house. There are people who do not have running water.”
When the kids were bickering over the legos, I wanted to scoop them all up and throw them away. Instead, I reminded myself:
“Two perfectly healthy boys. I cannot forget to be grateful that they are able to communicate, that they are capable, and they are here and now.”
I’m not an expert on self-talk but I do believe that when we stop the negative conversations in our heads, we can grow to appreciate even the mundane.
So, with an enlightened (at least temporarily) mind, we sat together at the kitchen table and started a new tradition of “Write Letters Wednesday”. We each chose someone special to write to and composed our letters. I’m hopeful that our new tradition will become habit and habit will remind us of our many blessings.
I’m not changing the world in the BIG way I envisioned. But, maybe, just maybe, I’m changing the world a little at a time with the hands of little people.