Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Shelter from the storm...

I write in my blog often about the things that my kids do to drive me insane. However, I don't write often enough about the amazing ability they possess to lift my spirits on a daily basis. Yesterday, I woke up crabby. I went to work cranky and became progressively crankier as the day went on. I had no reason to be unhappy. Nothing had "happened" to me. I was simply in a foul mood...and every person I talked to at work pushed me a little deeper into that irritable abyss. By the time I got in my car to drive home from work, my crabbiness had morphed from mental pain to all-over physical discomfort...as a foul mood can often do. I had a bit of a headache...my stomach was crampy...I just felt "off." It didn't help that I got a phone call at work right as I was leaving that forced me to be late getting out the door. Ruanita has to leave for work the minute I get home, so it's never a good thing if I am running late. So I drove home in a hurry, listening to idiotic banter on the radio...sinking deeper and deeper into my self-imposed funk.

The minute I rounded the corner onto my street, I could see Ruanita and the kids in the front yard. As I pulled up in front of the house, Sophie and Nicky came running to the car, grinning ear to ear. I could see them mouthing the words, "Momma! Momma!" I got out of the car and was immediately met with a loud and rambunctious run-down of what they had done during the day. "Momma, we played Play-Doh and we ate some Easter candy and we played the Wii and we colored and look at the rock I found for my rock collection...." On and on. I kissed Ruanita goodbye as she headed off to work and the twins and I went inside to put my work stuff up and get ready to go pick Lucas up from school. I quickly ran to use the bathroom. Of course, nothing is private in my house....so as I am sitting on the toilet doing my business, Nicky comes in and walks over to plant a sloppy kiss on my lips. He then said "I missed you, momma." He knows just what to do to make mommy feel all better.

After that, I strapped the kids into the mini van and we were off to pick Lucas up from school. As we're riding there, Sophie asks that I turn the music up. I glance in the rearview mirror to see Sophie smiling, her eyes closed, bouncing her head to the music. Utter bliss on her face. My sweet little girl.

We parked the van down the street from Lucas' school and started to walk in. Sophie ran ahead, laughing and giggling and skipping. Nicholas stayed right beside me and reached out to hold my hand. We walked into the building holding hands and found a nice spot on the floor to sit and wait for Lucas' class to come down the steps. His class is always the last one to be let out after the bell rings. Typically, I am antsy and impatient as all of the other kids file out of their classrooms and Lucas STILL has not come down. Yesterday, however, I was distracted by Sophie and Nicholas both sitting in my lap, regaling me with stories about their day. Finally, Lucas' class came down. The minute Lucas appeared at the top of the steps and saw us sitting there waiting for him, his face lit up and he grinned his huge toothless grin. He came straight to me and gave me a hug. The entire ride home, Lucas talked non-stop about his first day back to school after Spring Break....what all of his friends had done over break...the new friend he made on the playground whose name he could not remember...his teacher being excited to see him. On and on.

By the time we arrived home after picking Lucas up, my funk had miraculously disappeared. Whatever had happened throughout the day to put me in a foul mood suddenly melted away. The only thing left was a feeling of calmness...of "rightness." My kids aren't perfect. They are far from it. They misbehave. They fight. They complain. They push my buttons and drive me insane. However, they are the only three things in this world capable of calming me. Of making me feel that all is well in the world...even if it might not be. They are my sanctuary. My shelter from the storm. My happy place.

And I am eternally grateful for them.


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