Thursday, March 12, 2009

My Ducks were All in a Row

Yesterday was one of those days where my schedule was tight. Two morning appointments, early release from school. Field trip to the movie theater with the cubbies. I dashed home, spent 10 minutes putting some jello in the freezer, baked potatoes in the oven for dinner, loved on crying Liam, reassuring him that I would be back soon, and dashed out again for violin lessons. Sat and knit while Logan played, and raced back home. I called the boys on the way home from violin and asked them to take the jello out of the freezer, and set the table. I pulled in the driveway coiled and ready to spring into dinner action, because mutual was in less than an hour. "How was I going to be able to be there?" I asked myself. I'd already been gone from Liam for the last three hours. I descended on the kitchen only to find my baked potatoes not in the oven where I left them. They were all neatly placed on the counter and still hard as a rock. Raw. I was struck dumb. Then I could only speak in half sentences. "" "Who?" and "Why?!!" It turned out the boys in their infinite helpfulness heard the oven beep right after I left. You know, how the beep when the oven is done preheating is the same beep when the timer goes off? I hadn't left any instructions concerning the oven. I'd just told them to keep their brother happy and watch Mythbusters, a show the male member of the family love dearly. But they heard a beep.
Those nice, big, fat baker potatoes went back in the oven. I curled up in the fetal position on the couch and watched the Barbara Walters special about the Oscars. Why? Because I was discouraged and needed to go to another place. When the potatoes were done, The kids ate and I resumed my hiding. Mutual had long since started. Dang. My feelings of being a loser mom and being overwhelmed just increased. Then there came a little thought: you're just feeling this way because you're tired. It's been a super busy day, cut yourself some slack!
I wandered over to the piano and started playing some hymns while the boys finished their dinners. I started to feel less guilty. "The big boys may be missing church, but at least they're getting a little spirituality snuck in there!" I smiled to myself. I saw Logan slip downstairs and emerge with his violin. He smiled to me and began to play 'If you could Hie to Kolob' with me. Then we moved to 'God Moves in a Mysterious Way'. Then on to 'I Am a Child of God'.


I grabbed Dallin's copy of The Order of the Phoenix, and flopped back down on the couch. (He's 9, and reading the series for the first time. Can you think of anything more magical than that? He's been buried in them for weeks.) "I'm reading aloud in 10 minutes!" I announce. "Get the table cleared and wiped, so you can listen!" There was a flurry of activity, and soon we were all cuddled up, worrying with Harry about his hearing at the Ministry of Magic. After finishing the dishes, Logan made brownies. Lewis walked in, just in time to eat brownies and ice cream, and help get the kids in bed.
My evening didn't go like clockwork like I'd planned.
But, wow.


Anonymous said...

Those are the nights that are best. :) BTW I still think you are super mom. love ya-N

Allison said...

Wow. You know, I've read your entry a few times now and tried to pinpoint just where exactly I would have lost it. I'm serious....this is a situation that all to often befalls me, the undoing of my perfectly done schedule. My BIGGEST weakness has got to be getting to the point of realization that things did NOT go how I planned and then I get stuck. I can go no further. When the potatoes were rock hard on the counter, I didn't read about you yelling at your boys for their helpfulness, or throwing a fit about "what are we going to do for dinner starts in 10 minutes!" etc., etc. Instead you did something different. Yes, your boys missed mutual, but is that really the end of the world? More often than not I act like it is. I believe the Lord gave you a challenge and way to go! You passed! I admire that! Not only that, but it very well could have been just exactly how the Lord wanted it all to play out, given little Liam having missed you so much earlier. Gosh, if I could just get past that tiny moment that seems to ruin everything. The moment when you realize your plans haven't gone as they should and you want to cry and throw a fit (much like the Chinese woman in your earlier video post!) and blame somebody or make someone else feel as frustrated as you do!

Thank you for showing me another way....a real, everyday situation that I can relate to. Thank you for demonstrating to me a different way of handling the frustration. I've been struggling on SO many levels for SO long that lately even the tiniest frustrations turn me into either a blubbering mess or a raging lunatic! I can see so clearly in your experience just exactly what Satan said to you, (that you were a loser mom and made you feel overwhelmed) and I could almost hear that SAME MESSAGE in my own head. I didn't think you were a loser mom....look at all you had accomplished that day! But when it's my life, I find that I listen to that voice more often than I should and believe it and it ruins everything else...quickly. You were able to also hear the voice of the Spirit and believe that voice and then act to keep harmony in your home. And look how it all turned out.

I could go on and on. I just want to thank you, sincerely, for sharing.

Michelle said...

Okay, I have no idea which stake you are in, but maybe this is a reflection of the stake conference talk my mom spoke to me about-- the one about following the Spirit in your own life instead of being dictated by your schedule, even if that schedule is for good, church activities. I'm impressed at your ability to take a negative situation and make it better. I do have one question for you. How do you feel about your nine year old reading the whole Harry Potter series. My oldest is nine. I'm sure he has the ability to read the series, but I've been discouraging him because I thought some of the content was too mature. Have your boys had any issues with the series when they read it young? One of my nieces had nightmares, so I was curious about your take on it.

EarlGirl said...

Oh, Allison, I feel your pain. Here's my theory: I used to freak out a lot when my kids were your kids' age, I still hide in mindless entertainment, and mom's with older kids than mine can roll with the punches pretty well. By the time our kids are gone, we should be perfect! Woo hoo!
Michelle: My mom heard that same talk, and as soon as she heard about my night, she dashed for her notes to fill me in. Sounds like good doctrine to me! And about Harry Potter, I didn't worry until the end of book 4. That graveyard scene was intense. He handled it just fine, and told me it was exciting, not scary. I think it depends on the kid.

Home of the Muddy Kids said...

Your night sounds like my week--without the cool parts. I've been a twitching mess since last Thursday! Too much on my plate and I still can't seem to stop asking for more helpings--and insisting that I bake it myself!

Jenn said...

I LOVE that you totally skipped mutual. HA! I NEVER would have even thought of taking THAT out! I'm looking forward to justifying it one of these days now that you've planted the seed. If I go apostate I'll point my finger your way!!!
Way to handle the situation. Totally impressed.

Doran & Jody said...

All is well........

Anonymous said...

Wow, that would have been pizza night for me, and I am a very strong advocate for homecooked dinner :)

You handled it greatly, and I agree with Michelle, sometimes you just have to stay home, home is considered one of the safe spiritual places, like the Temple, and it seems it turned out to be a wonderful spiritual experience for you and your boys.

My computer had gone crazy in the last few weeks, a virus got in, it took the geek squad 5 days working on it to figure out what was wrong and to remove the virus that kept corrupting all the files.

I changed some settings on my blog and a bunch of invites got deleted somehow and wasn't able to get online until now, hope you are able to view my blog again.

As for Harry Potter, I never read the series, I only saw the movies,
I like the movie series, maybe I should borrow a book and judge for myself, to see if I like the author's writing style.
(I still don't see why Rowling had to say that thing about Dumbledore that kinda upset me just because it had no relevance in the story)

lovecat said...

Don't you love stealing time to spend with your whole family together. It makes you appreciate it so much more when you do.
Probably not a every week thing, but way to take some time off to be together!

I love the books and you should definitely try them out for yourself. When it comes to the Dumbledore thing, I don't beleive it even though the author claimed it. In my opinion a character becomes what the reader wants and believes them to be. If you beleive that Dumbledore was just a good man who loved the children under his care than that is what he is. (personally I always thought he and Macgonagal always had some sort of history.)

Anonymous said...

Thank you, lovecat, I will try them.

What the author said never kept me from reading them (what kept me was the size of the books) :)

Jodi said...

You are an AMAZING mom! I was so inspired by this post! THanks!

Kimberly said...

Doesn't get any better than that...