On Saturday morning, my husband left to do a quick errand. When he walked out the door, all was bliss. The boys and I were doing an impromptu sticker project at the kitchen table, and I was trying to pull breakfast together. But when he returned 20 minutes later, all was bedlam. My three-and-a-half-year-old was lying placidly on top of the kitchen table, looking into the living room, where Baby Brother and I were both sitting on the couch, bawling our heads off.
My husband’s first comment, of course, was, “What happened?” My oldest responded, since I couldn’t because I was beside myself. “Baby Brother had quite a fall.” Don’t ask me where he gets these phrases, but he was right: Baby Brother had had quite a fall, right out of a chair and face first into the floor. Thankfully, he fell right on top of my foot, so he didn’t seriously hurt himself.
After explaining all of this to my husband, he answered in a very man-like way, “So then everything’s OK, right?” Well, yes, I nodded, still hiccupping. Technically, yes, everything was OK. I knew that the next thing he wanted to ask was, “So why are you crying?” but he thought better of it and didn’t, because he knows me. Yes, sometimes I overreact when the kids hurt themselves. Sometimes, I just can’t bear the thought of what could have happened.
Now, fast forward about 9 hours later to dinnertime. All was bedlam. I was trying to pull dinner together, and the boys both needed attention and I really needed both hands. Honestly, during times like that, I just don’t know what to do with myself. It was frustrating, because if they would have just let me focus, I could have finished what I was doing in five minutes. But with their constant needs and wants, it was taking me three times as long.
Then, my husband stepped in and took them in the backyard, so that I could focus. He left the back door open in order to let in the evening air, which was – for lack of a better word – simply lovely. I could hear the boys yelling and playing outside as I finished up the last of the dinner preparation, and then I began to – get this – clean up after myself, which I seldom get the chance to do.
I was cleaning, when suddenly my three-and-a-half-year-old appeared with a big bunch of honeysuckle that he’d pulled from the vine outside. “For you, Mommy,” he said, a big smile on his face as he waited expectantly for the surprise of delight that he knew was coming. I grabbed him up in a kiss, and then he ran back outside. Two seconds later, Baby Brother (17 months) appeared, with some petals in his little hands that he’d ripped from the vine. “Thank you, sweetheart!” I said exuberantly as I pulled him into a big hug and kissed his sweet cheeks. Then he ran back outside after brother, who appeared again with more flowers. This went on and on several more times. Many hugs and kissed were given, many flowers were added to my vase and many kisses were conferred. What can I say. It was bliss.
Bedlam and bliss. With kids, I’ve decided that they’re opposite sides of the same coin. You really can’t have one without the other. Toss the coin, and you never know what you’re going to get. It’s crazy sometimes, but no one can put a price on what that coin is worth.
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