It was a Thursday morning like any other, except it wasn't.
I remember that I awoke greeting the day, rather than the day greeting, or rather tugging and pulling at me. Troy was hustling about, grooming for another long day at work. He asked me if I could iron his work shirt and I was happy to oblige. Usually he does all the household ironing, but on this morning his request made me feel useful and helpful.
The three older kids rolled out of bed and one-by-one trickled down the stairs. Dad kissed us all goodbye as he ALWAYS does. I prepared lunches, and served breakfast to the kids. We sent Jack off to school. He was characteristically chipper, puckering up for me and Sam to kiss him goodbye before he rode away on his bike. I stood at the corner with a smile on my face as I watched him ride down the court. My mother heart was bursting with pride for the young man he had become.
I went back inside and finished getting Lucy ready for school. I had plans for my friend Chris to come over that morning and peruse a selection of drapery panels I had purchased on sale. I was looking forward to her visit, but I wanted my house to look presentable after the before-school whirlwind. I started to do dishes and clean my kitchen. I was admittedly enjoying the focused time I had to accomplish a task while Charlie slept in.
You see, with a toddler, you really don't accomplish anything. Most of your day is spent doing damage control. You are constantly monitoring for saftey and intercepting danger. As soon as you clean one mess, another one has been made behind your back. Charlie was no exception to this kind of toddler behavior. He loved to climb up on chairs, tables, countertops, or spray and dump cleaning supplies, or draw with marker on the floor or upholstered chairs. So naturally, I was enjoying his later wake-up time so that I could do a speed clean.
I can remember feeling like Cinderella, whistling while I worked. I had my 4 year-old Sammy right by my side with a desire to be included in my chores. I passed him a paper towel and together we washed some windows. He and I were having a great time together...laughing and cleaning.
Magical mothering moments like these are sporadic for me, which is probably why I took note of it. I LOVE being a mom, but I also find the job description incredibly challenging. Emotionally I struggle to find the joy in the mundane of motherhood. I am often times impatient and selfish. Perhaps every mom feels this way occasionally. The nature of the job requires putting your own wants and desires on hold many times for the immediate care of your dependent children. I was happy to be having a moment with Sam where I felt complete love for him and satisfaction in my calling as a mom.
By this time it was around 8:45 am. The thought did cross my mind that Charlie was sleeping a lot longer than he usually does, but it made sense to me because he had skipped his nap the day before and was feeling sick the night before. So, I wanted him to get all the recovery sleep he needed to feel refreshed and healthy.
Around this time, my daughter Lucy wanted to go wake Charlie up. We all loved Charlie and the house didn't feel alive and fully awake until he was bopping around with his usual grin. The kids often fought over who was going to go in and get him from his crib. I heard his door crack open and I quickly snapped at Lucy to close the door so he could get as much sleep as possible. I can't remember her exact comment, but she hurried and shut the door and said, "Don't worry mom, he didn't even budge". Again, I didn't think anything of it. I was relieved that her excitement to see him did not wake him. (also a blessing I wouldn't realize until later)...