I was in a foul mood today. Maybe it was the fog and the reminder of the impending seasonal sadness that affects so many of us. Maybe it was the caffeine that had me amped up to 11. Either way, it wasn’t just me, Sera was “in a funk” as well. I felt angry and impatient and had to apologize to the girls several times just this morning. Sera kept crying for no reason. Amelie looked at us both like we were crazy and then refused to clean her room.
After a little bit of reading time and then an epic battle to finally get them to clean their rooms (and after even more apologizing), I tried to think of a way to change the “foul mood” that had now descended upon all of us.
I just wanted to give them something to work on or to read…some project to do while I sorted out my emotions with another cup of coffee and my social media trifecta. But GOSH DARN IT those kids actually needed some mom time. Okay, okay, I know. We grown ups can be such babies sometimes.
Awhile back I had found a toy cash register stocked with play money at Goodwill for $3. I unveiled it and announced that we would be playing store. No matter that I just spent a morning of blood and tears getting toys finally put away in the right spot. Break them out! And then cover them in post-its! Put a price tag on anything you see! When you’re halfway to crazytown, you might as well go all the way and have fun doing it.
We took turns being the cashier and the shopper. The girls counted out change and calculated tax. Most importantly, we had fun. Well, to be perfectly honest they had fun.
I thought of all those mom-blog posts where the mom learns a valuable lesson from slowing down and taking time to interact in some meaningful way with her child. She always offers some sort of solution that leaves the reader feeling inspired. One last happy-fuzzy-warm photo of the mom and child holding hands during the golden hour. As I sat on the designated cashier’s stool, I looked out of the front door and gazed out at the fog…overwhelming fog.
No golden hour.
Despite doing the right thing, learning the lesson, changing the perspective, I did not feel any better.
I let myself be honest. Sometimes coffee wakes you up but leaves you anxious. Sometimes you discover the answer to the problem, but it isn’t the answer to your problem. Sometimes, much of the time, doing the loving thing doesn’t feel all that great. After all, isn’t it easy to love when the kids are being lovable? Isn’t it easy to be cheerful when the sun is out and the bedrooms are clean?
It was my choice to homeschool. It was a deliberate decision. It was also my choice to love these little people. Love can feel like reading on a blanket in the sun on a dreamy homeschool morning, but much of the time, love is trading a foggy morning of solitude for chaos in a messy living room. Sometimes love looks like this:
Subjects covered today: Math, Reading, and … Love