Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Once Upon a Time...

...there lived a Mama whose husband was away for the week.

She gathered art supplies, planned out the menu, re-read this post for inspiration, took a deep breath, and dove in.

Two little girl friends came to play for the day, and though the decibel was disconcerting, three sets of adorable, squeaky voices almost caused her to melt on a few occasions. Almost. She did have a baby, after all, and he needed to sleep.

She decided that's what backyards are for. (Not for the sleeping baby- for the noisy girls!)

They left the chaos behind and ran to the yard. She took a book and the baby monitor and sat in the sun, figuring she would allow her freckles to connect for a bit. She was splashed and interrupted, she held and comforted, ran in and out of the house for popsicles and goldfish and band-aids, and when little teeth began to chatter and Little Man did some chattering of his own through the monitor, they moved inside.

She prayed for a sense of humor as she maneuvered the mess to make lunch, reluctantly sending the little children downstairs to create more havoc while she sliced and stirred and poured.

And when her boy-turning-man helper slipped on some spilt water and ice, and came up red-faced and laughing, they held their sides and laughed till there were tears streaming down their cheeks. And then they mopped up the water together.

She prayed for eyes to delight in the little things. And when she trotted down the stairs ahead of the little girls, they gasped at the way her skirt fluttered around her knees. You're floating! they cried. Do it again! She did. Up and down, laughing and delighting. Soon, all three girls wanted to change out of their swimming suits and into skirts.

Okay, so I won't get a workout on my treadmill today. This will do! she smiled to herself.

Dinner was served, although Little Man was not happy that Mama couldn't hold him. He looked like this.


But then doting brother waltzed him 'round the living room, singing Merciful Lord with gusto. It's not a hymn you'll find in your hymnbooks. Only doting brother knows the words, but Little Man loves it, and so does the Merciful Lord.

Later, when Mama made a rookie mistake and served crumbly chocolate cake to all of the children, she chose instead to delight in their chocolaty smiles and ignore the crumb-littered floor for the moment.

Because of course she discovered another delight in the clean-up process.

Little Man's cries were silenced by the broom. Huge tears dangled off the ends of his preposterously long eyelashes; he watched, fascinated, as she swept the brown crumbs into a pile. And when she sang O, be joyful, O be jubilant, put your sorrows far away, come rejoice and sing together this happy day!, he smiled, and sunshine filled the kitchen.

Board games and clean-up and bath times and snacks and stories, the day came to a close. And although she never got to finish a chapter or eat a meal sitting down or run on the treadmill, and she was falling into bed far past the recommended hour for when husband is away, she was still smiling. Remembering freckles and sunshine and smiles and laughter and hymns from the heart and communing with God on her knees as piles were swept into the dustpan.

Besides, when she lifted her twenty pound baby from his bath seat and had to use both her legs and abs to do so, she was sore for the rest of the evening.

That counts as a workout, doesn't it?

The End.

16 fellow travelers shared:

Anonymous said...

That picture is priceless! And what a wonderful story...

Love you!
Kake

Andrea said...

Okay, so I won't get a workout on my treadmill today. This will do! she smiled to herself.

You are a brilliant mother. =)

Lifting you up in prayer this week, dear friend!

Stacy said...

Great job, Elise!

It sounds like a day that so could have gone the other way and left you with a grumbling spirit- but YAY to you for choosing joy and delight and laughter!

It inspires me to do the same....

Kristin said...

Oh, so G doesn't like his Mama to cook either. Sounds like he and Benjamin may be kindred spirits, too. Praying for the grace not to lose my cool in those moments...

Ginger@chirgies said...

Good Job Momma! When you are silvery and wrinkled, you'll look back with fondness at the memories and know you focused on the important things that day. Just prayed for you as you're flying solo for the week, that you can:
"oooooooohhhhhh, beeeeeeeeeeee, joyyyyyyyyyy-fullllllllll, oh, be joyful everyday!"

Linda said...

What a wise wonderful Mama you are. Isn't it amazing how much of life is a choice, and when we make the right ones there are so many blessings.
You made my heart glad!(and it has been a long day at the hospital with my Dad - yet again).

Debra said...

That is simply beautiful ... reminded me of the joy the Father must have in watching days where we just let go and love and enjoy the things in life that really matter. Thank you!

Linda said...

Elise - thank you so much for your prayers. What a priceless blessing - to know that you are prayed for. You are so very dear.

P.S. I bought "Skylark" at the book store yesterday. You inspired me to look for it. Loving it!

Candace @ Worker at Home said...

What a beautiful day!

judy kay said...

so precious. thank you!

rautis2 said...

Oh Elise! Thank you so much for always having the words to say to lift me out of my horrible rut!!!!

Deidra said...

I'm floating, too!

I first read this sweet post three days ago, and still I'm singing Oh be joyful! (I hadn't thought of that song in decades) along with my own rendition of Merciful Lord!

So precious! I thought I'd come back here and let you know how your wonderful day has blessed me, and that the blessing lingers still...

Cindi said...

I love that story! "and they slept happily ever after through the night."

Beverly said...

Loved this, friend!

Linda said...

This was the only place I could find to comment.
Just wanted to say I miss you and I'd love to come over and read and play with you. Sounds like you're having a wonderful time!

Suzan Osborn said...

Elise, I am finally attempting to comment on your blog. Once again - it is a breath of fresh air to visit your blog and share in your thoughts and words. I love the latest pictures of your family. Sweet! Missed you Sunday - hope all is well with you. Love, Suzan

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