Monday, April 1, 2013

Life in the Trenches

This morning one of my six-year-olds lit a fire under me! No, seriously. The little bugger was playing with matches. And I thought he'd learned his lesson when he was four. Back then, I made the mistake of dozing off while the twins were watching TV. I came in to find them standing on the back of the couch, one of them stark naked, and charred matches scattered everywhere.  Thankfully nothing happened, then or now.  The last few days have been sharp reminders that I am outnumbered 4 to 1 by these little people. We are in the war of life and I am supposed to be their brave captain leading my troops into battle.

But you want to know the truth? I'm scared! I have my orders. I know what I should do. I pass the orders on to my platoon and they just look at me (and then light matches when I'm not in there). These are what I call "bad mommy days."  I'm not a bad mommy (at least I hope not). They're not bad kids, but I FEEL bad. My feelings and emotions bubble up over reason and I let fear and doubt take over. It's like a soldier sitting in the trenches with bombs bursting over head. If fear takes over, training takes second fiddle and that's a dangerous place to be. I know that I can't let emotions lead, but let's be honest. I'm a woman and emotions are a big part of who I am. But just like anything in my life I need to take control and not let the emotions control me. But, man, that's hard.

The battle against right and wrong is fought every day in this house and a lot of days I feel like I'm losing. I really try to teach respect and love and the Golden Rule. But the hitting and screaming and the pouring Nesquik on each other takes a toll on a mom. So what's a good soldier (mommy) to do? I guess all I CAN do is cherish the beauty of the peacetimes. Relish the laughter when they're being silly with each other. Take in the angelic faces as they lay sleeping. The quiet times are the times I remember why I joined this fight in the first place. I want to make an impact on this dark world by sending out four shining lights to make impacts of their own.

Wars are not won in a day and good productive kids take a lifetime to cultivate. There will be more stressful days (hopefully no more matches will be lit). There will be a ton of good days ahead. Life in the trenches is not easy and it's not pretty, but it's the life I've chosen. And it's a good one.

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