Today, my 17 year old first-born started college. He's only taking one class, a math class, so that he can take more math in the summer, so that he can take even more math next year. Nevertheless, it feels big. I offered to buy his books for him, and it's a good thing, because it turns out when you have a baby strapped to you, they let you cut to the front of the long line of people that aren't all that happy to be dropping college-textbook-sized chunks of change. The timing and location of this class mean more driving for me. I have chosen to remember that in almost no time at all, this child will be a man, likely gone from our home, and I won't have weekly time together with him. What is he learning about in health? Parenting. Grace #1 GRATITUDE FOR RIGHT NOW
Today my 7-year old went to outdoor school. He was gone all day, was sufficiently covered in mud and proud of the re-potted herbs he presented to me in a muddy, leaky, pot, and of the baby goats. He was also HANGRY as a spring bear and ATE ALL HIS FOOD except one orange, which he left in his backpack which he left on the hook, with his (my) water bottle, which we were NOT going back to get because we had to get the 17 year old. Luckily, I'd forgotten the bag of oranges in the car after grocery shopping yesterday, and we all happily snacked on them and he decided breathing fire on Mama was unnecessary. Grace #2 SNACKS IN THE CAR
Today my 10-month old made a new friend at my infant massage lesson. He really seemed to enjoy watching his 14-month old comrade, with his dramatic hand gestures, and stuffed animal attached to his binky. He wanted to talk to him and touch him and grab the stuffy. He is coming into his own and it's fun to watch. His friend also had an extra binky buddy and his mama was generous and gave it to my guy--so he had a new chew toy for the taxi ride around Washington County. Grace #3 NEW FRIENDS (+ no crying in the car, nearly all day)
Today my 14 year old and 17 year old got to the bus-stop on time. It was 06:30. What does the 0 stand for? OMG it's early. I go through weeks of getting up to make nutritious and slightly-more-complicated-than-they-might-make-for-themselves breakfasts and also, weeks of deciding they are old enough and smart enough to figure this out for themselves. This week was the latter. I was still asleep-ish at 6:30... except for the barnacle nursling who was in and out of conscious and unconscious morning snacking. So, when they came back at 6:45, having waited for 10 minutes without seeing a bus, it was a groggy Mama who took them to school. (Yes, they were really on time. The bus was late--new driver.) Grace #4 RESPONSIBLE KIDS
Today my 15-year-old answered my frantic plea for help in the kitchen at dinner time. My own mother used to call this the suicide hour--maybe that's some sick reference to an actual thing, but if there's gonna be a Mama meltdown, it would be at this time of the day. And I was working REALLY hard to not melt. The kitchen looked like a party happened yesterday and everyone was still too hungover to fix it. That's what a kitchen looks like when you actually cooked real food for 6 1/2 people and someone (me) forgot to run the dishwasher in time to accommodate dinner dishes. Uck. So, the 17-year-old unloaded the dishwasher, and the 15-year-old loaded it until she could tell I was getting flustered with the amount baby bro was fussing and she offered to take him for a walk. Really? Really. She could sense I was like Mom St. Helens. Grace #5 HELPFUL KIDS
Today was a good day. Today was a full day. Today I was glad to have made my rough outline of weekly meals. Monday = Mexican. So, I didn't have to think too much about how to make the next exploding party kitchen disaster. Olé! Grace #6 MENU PLANNING
Feel free to use my cutesy 'theme of the day' weekly menu ideas PDF to help add a little grace into your Monday. Or whatever day it happens to be. Normally, this is how it works: On my shopping day, I fill out the plan with specific dishes from that category:
- Sunday: Spring Green Soup, Salad and cheese and crackers.
- Monday: Tacos. Tuesday: Spaghetti/Spaghetti Squash, meatballs, Salad, Forest wants to make garlic bread.
- Wednesday: Quiche.
- Get the Idea?
See, I broke my own rule/system. Because, as my friend Julie reminded me: No one is the boss of me, even me. Or maybe, this is the ??? from Saturday, and on Saturday we'll really have soup. Which, we probably will. Unless one of the children ate all of that one ingredient. Bonus Grace: LIVING CLOSE TO THE GROCERY STORE. (I can even send a kid on a bike.)
May the rest of your week be filled with just a little more grace.