It was an epic-fail morning.
I set my alarm for before 7am, ready to create a loving breakfast for my family. I had chosen a Pinterest Recipe called "Berries and Cream Cheese Monkey Bread". Saturdays are the day I meal plan, Sunday's the grocery shop for produce ... and this morning was set in motion. It was all ready to go.
So, I prepared the filling, rolled out the dough, sliced the buns and baked them. The house smelt glorious. The smell of love ... or at least that's what I thought.
Our three kids are starting to have their own "palettes". It's a challenge - for all you moms out there, you know what I mean. I used to dream of making meals and my family smiling, saying "wow - mom. THANK YOU."
This is a fantasy world. I might get one out of three ... possibly two. But everyone? Unlikely.
Last night I tried my hand at Thai Lettuce Wraps. My hubby RAVED (which means, I shall be making them again ...). But the kidlets? It was an evening of persuading, coaxing, punishing ... and yes, the lettuce was pretty messy - so I did allow tortillas to make their appearance at the table half way through.
So - this morning's experience left me "done". Not because I expect my kids to sing my praises about my job description, but because I DO expect them to be polite ... and grateful.
We have to leave the house at 8:25am. And at 8:20am, our eldest was at the table, still pulling faces - poking at his yummy-love-filled-breakfast. My blood was boiling ...
"You have 2 minutes to finish that," I scolded. "Or your DS is gone for the week."
Poke. Poke. Poke.
Two minutes passed.
"You've now lost your DS. Congratulations. Next, will be your mini sticks (for hockey)," I stared directly into his eyes.
Nothing. Wait ...
"Done," I sighed. "No DS, no mini sticks ... get downstairs, get dressed, brush your teeth, make your bed - and this (I pointed at his breakfast) will be waiting for you as your snack when you get home from school."
I was SO angry.
As we all piled into my truck, it was silent. Poor Siah was trying to make the tension go away by listing off all the things he had completed that morning, all while Tias was staring at me with "What???" eyes in my rear view mirror.
That's when I spoke.
"You know, Mattias," I started. "My friend died last week."
He hung his head.
"That means," I continued, "that her four kids don't have a Mommy to make them anything. I wonder what words they would say to you right now?"
And I was relieved. Not because I enjoy seeing my beautiful son being sad, but because his attitude immediately disappeared.
"Ok. It's done - no more. Let's ask God to be a part of our day," and we all prayed for health and protection - and our ride went back to being completely normal.
"I love you Tias," I said, "All the time, every day ..."
"No matter what," he finished.
"No matter what," I repeated.
So, it was over ... although the punishment this week will be a reminder of attitudes and grateful hearts. But as I drove back home, I wondered something to myself.
"I wonder what Kristin would say to me about this morning?"
If you don't know Kristin's story ... here's her blog. This was where she documented the last 14 months of her difficult journey. She passed last Sunday after battling cancer, and I photographed the memorial service this past Friday. She has four children, and a hubby whom she would have been celebrating 20 years of marriage with this fall. She was 41.
Would she tell me that it wasn't worth it - that it wasn't really that big of a deal? That I blew it out of proportion, to just hug and love on my kids - because you just never know? Or would she stand up and cheer - proud of me for finishing what I started, for following through. Would she tell me what real priorities are - what she learned, what was REALLY important? Would she tell me that real parenting can't be replaced by just letting things go, because in the end - that will do more harm than good?
I don't know.
But I find myself asking that question a lot these days ... and I am oddly motivated by it. I am spending more intentional time with each child, individually. Reading, painting, going for long walks. I am trying to not be lazy with what I prepare them for meals ... reminded that their health has a LOT to do with how I prepare what they eat. We have been playing more "family games", which is a lot easier now that Katia is four ... watching Duck Dynasty and laughing till we cry.
All important things.
In closing, I wanted to mention that a group of three other moms and I, have started a fund to help Kristin's husband with the "normal-every-day" things that will seem like a mountain right now. Things like housecleaning, grocery shopping, meal making ...
If you feel a tugging in your spirit - please - click this link HERE ... it will take you to the donations page where you can read our heart. You will also have an opportunity to give as little as $5.00 as a reminder to this family, that people out there care when families are broken. We have raised over $4600.00 in less than five days. Our goal is $10,000. THANK YOU so much for your consideration ... an army of people can do profound things.
Have a great one.