On Any Given Day

I lay on her bed, frustrated at the events of the day.  Sundays were supposed to be our day, our day for church, family, and relaxation.  Instead, everything was in a constant state of frenzy from the moment we woke up until right then, as I was trying to get my daughter to go to sleep. The kids were horrible on this particular day, and try as I might, I couldn’t get them to cooperate.  My nerves were on edge, and Matt and I were at each other’s throat.

“Hannah Grace, stop talking,” I reprimanded her.  And I began my normal habit of introspection when the kids didn’t behave.  Why had I failed at parenting again?

I closed my eyes, hoping that if I looked like I was asleep, Hannah Grace would copy me.  The sky didn’t reflect the time of evening that it was, and light began to stream in through the cracks in the blinds. The thunder rumbled a low groan.

“I don’t like thunder,” she said.

“It’s okay.”

“We need to go somewhere.”

“There’s nowhere to go, Hannah Grace.”

“I want to go to the mall.”

“You’re not going to the mall.”

The pitter-patter of rain began, while the sky remained light.

“I like the rain,” she said.

“I do, too,” and I silently thanked God for the rain I was craving all afternoon, the rain that kept teasing me but never came.

I kissed Hannah Grace as I warned her to stay in her bed, and I moved to the hallway.  I watched the rain through the big window above the front door.

Hannah Grace began crying again, and Matt moved from Caleb’s room, where our son was now sleeping, to our daughter’s.

As the rain washed the dust and the heat down the street, my insecurities began to roll off of me in the big raindrops.

I thought about the play dates where a friend’s child blatantly defied her or another’s threw a tantrum.  I thought about the mother who made a threat and didn’t follow through, yet had a well-behaved kid.  I thought about the child who wouldn’t venture away from his mother’s side, afraid to make new friends, safe from getting in trouble. I thought about my child who was never content at my side and found a new friend wherever he went.

And I thought to myself they’re all different. It’s not all about me.

I thought how I must have been easy to raise.  Afraid to get in trouble, I never did.  I never got detention, but I never took risks.  I thought about my sister. She was harder.  She was the toddler who couldn’t control her curiosity. I identified one of my own children with her personality.

I thought about how I parented, how the good I did outweighed the bad.  And I thought about my children, how they are good children.  They’re just children.

The heavens opened and released the last bit of rain it had been saving.  I watched the downpour and let out a cleansing sigh.  And then the pitter-patter resumed amidst a greenish sky until the drops faded away to nothing.

Matt appeared at Hannah Grace’s door and moved into the hallway.  He reached out a hand and pulled me up off of the floor.  We gave each other the knowing look that spoke thank goodness that’s over, and we hugged.

Sometimes we have bad days, too, and we’re the adults.  But we’ll be okay, and so will they.

8 thoughts on “On Any Given Day

  1. It made me laugh that Hannah wanted to go to the mall! She is so funny!

    I know you weren’t laughing then, but they will bring more joy than you can ever imagine.


  2. Oh the bad days…I can certainly relate to those. And my youngest is really pushing my buttons at bedtime this week. Dad is out of town…I'm starting to lose my mind! Thanks for letting me know I'm not alone!


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