Five a.m. isn’t happening. At least, it hasn’t happened for the last week or so. Nor have the warm breakfasts that can’t be found in a box or little to-go wraps for the husband. Bible study has become Bible speed-read. Going to bed earlier isn’t going to solve this problem–the sleep deficit is too vast at this point, and let’s face it; when the last child doesn’t fall asleep until after nine, getting myself into bed by ten is a lofty goal.
My son is turning five in just under two weeks, and I’ve started to reflect. I think about that little baby who changed the direction of my life forever, the bouncing baby boy who was all smiles and a fireball of energy. And I think about the fact that in five years, the only times I have been away from him for longer than 24 hours is when I had other babies, surgeries, or helped my friend care for her sick husband and her own bouncing boy. While I look back fondly on my times with anesthesia, I’m craving another sort of rest…perhaps a week-long kind of rest.
I haven’t seen a week-long kind of rest, with or without kids, in over seven years. I feel I’m overdue. The way I figure the numbers, most people who have had a salaried-type job with a company for five years get at least a week’s vacation, if not more. So I’m submitting my official vacation request (even though I don’t get a salary) .
I didn’t want to go this route–I know the ‘company’ needs me–but the whole ‘personal’ day thing hasn’t worked out too well, either. In fact, I didn’t even ask for a whole day, just an hour. But the hour I’ve tried to schedule with my friend has been rescheduled four times now due to sick children, children with broken bones, sick mommas, etc. I was gracious enough to schedule the hour while two of the children were at preschool, therefore, not inconveniencing anyone else, but if any of those two don’t go to school because of illness…well, you get the picture.
I look at my life and am in awe of how blessed I am. I read letters from the mother of the child we sponsor, how sometimes she wants her son to stay home from school so he can help around the house, help with chores like fetching water or washing dishes by hand, and I know that I don’t know real tired. I think of my dear friend teaching students then coming home to care for her husband with cancer and her preschool-aged son. She knows tired.
And while their lives help put mine in perspective, I also see that Jesus got away for times of solitude, and He was perfect! He didn’t grit his teeth like I did as I was trying to read the Bible but couldn’t see the words due to the three-year-old who bounded in my bed at six a.m., repeatedly flinging her leg on top of the computer screen. He didn’t show childish behavior like I have, throwing a toy across the room that came too close to my foot. He didn’t lose patience like I do every single day now with my children. And with my husband, too. So if Jesus took times to rest, and He was perfect, how much more do I need some time away?!
I am blessed; I know that. But I am tired, and I have contemplated submitting my two-week notice far too many times lately. And since I really do love my job and don’t want to quit, I’m submitting my vacation notice instead. I really think if I could get a little break, I would come back a better wife and mother, the type of wife and mother I aspire to be…and think I could be.
Now: Who wants to watch three kids almost five and under for a week?