Sweaters and Rabbits

Today was a beautiful spring day. The sky was bright blue and cloudless, and the temperature was perfect.  The kids had their good and bad moments today, but the time we spent outside playing baseball while admiring the flowers and little buds appearing in our vegetable garden helped those bad moments to fade…

…until bedtime.  As the day came to a close, my level of fatigue rose, and my patience level dropped dramatically.  Knowing that Matt wouldn’t be home to help with the bedtime routine made the day seem that much longer, added to the fact that the kids seem to unravel after 5:00 p.m.  No one was listening, and I was tired of going up and down the stairs, corralling the kids back into their rooms.  How I miss the safety gates that were screwed into the walls prior to putting the house on the market!

I felt helpless as I was nursing Chloe in her room, trying to settle her into bed.  I knew every minute I spent in her room was one more minute that a sly child could sneak downstairs for Easter candy.  There was one of me, and three of them–what could I do?

As I prayed with Caleb and Hannah Grace in their respective rooms tonight, I felt burdened and fought back tears.  Why couldn’t I make my children obey?  Why did I struggle–even my ‘fun’ clean-up games failed–repeatedly when others seemed to triumph?

Caleb finally calmed down and was reading on the floor in his room, so I propped myself against the wall across from Hannah Grace’s room.  I knew she would try to escape many times. As she took a nap this afternoon, I didn’t expect her to actually fall asleep before 10:00.  True to form, she made her appearance in the hallway a half-dozen times or so, and I, as patiently as I could, redirected her to bed.

The last few times she came out of her room, she requested that I go rest in my own bedroom.  I assured her I would as soon as she stayed in her room.  That answer did not satisfy her.

A few minutes later, this little two-year-old appeared in the door frame with a heavy, crocheted sweater buttoned up to her neck, her strawberry-blonde hair falling in her face.

“Mommy, you make my feelings,” she stated matter-of-factly.

I had no idea what she meant.  Many times she had told me that I hurt her feelings, typically when she was in trouble, but she had never said this particular phrase before.

“Hannah Grace, I don’t know what that means,” I answered.

With a straight face, and without missing a beat, she replied, “I don’t like rabbits. Because you make my feelings; that’s why you need to go in your room.”

I immediately started to giggle. What in the world was she saying?!  And at that moment, I realized she didn’t have a clue.  Her brother and she were little and probably had as much an idea of why they did the things they did as I.

In that moment, through her cryptic message, I had a moment of clarity.  The good of the day, the accomplishment of beds (finally) being made by all, sweet moments when the kids all played nicely together, baseball outside in the warm sun, was still there.  And tomorrow would be another day full of more good, and probably a little bad, too, because, after all, there are three of them and one of me.

I pulled Hannah Grace to me, and we snuggled together down on the floor in the hallway. And as we lay quiet, together we drifted off to sleep.

5 thoughts on “Sweaters and Rabbits

  1. Jennifer, Your children will have such wonderful memories because you are a saint with a wicked sense of humor— a perfect combination!


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