Grace. The Most Beautifullest Thing Ever, Mama.

Sometimes you are not in the best headspace to be your best self. And sometimes, your less-than-best self falls upon those closest to you.

Sometimes, your day begins to pile up with tiny moments of over-stimulating catastrophes. One after the other. But, darn it- you didn’t plan it that way.

You submit your grocery order Saturday night. You remember you need an additional loaf of bread at 1:42 a.m. You submit it before the online cut-off at 1:45 a.m. WIN! You wake up a little before 7 and head to WM to pick up your order, iced coffee in hand. There is a crispness in the air and it’s going to be a GOOD day. It’ll be busy, of course– the house always needs cleaning. The laundry still needs folding… doesn’t the laundry ALWAYS still need folding?! But, you’re going to have the shopping done before the hubby and kids are even UP. Your coffee is delicious and you can just feel the positivity in your veins. You’re going to pick you your groceries for the week, which rang in at just about $100 for your family of 5 to have homecooked dinners all week– not an easy feat for Fall of 2022. You’re going to come home, load the dishwasher, boil some water to mop, get to folding those clothes, and maybe find some time to do something you enjoy– write for your new blog, perhaps?

Your order is collected without a hitch. You pop in to grab your husband some tools he needs for his side job. You get home and he unloads your car for you. Your son wakes up as you’re putting away the groceries so you take a break to snuggle. You sit with that little guy whose long legs and small frame remind you of a great Dane puppy and you rock him in the 30-year-old glider from your brother’s nursery. You breathe in his scent from his hair… it smells like laundry and sleep. Oh, the laundry. You’ll get to it at some point, but right now, there is too much joy in the sunshine flowing in the windows, and this sweet angel that just looked up at you and said, “You’re the most beautifullest thing ever, Mama.”

Your middle babe wakes up, and now two are craving breakfast. Cocoa Pebbles, per their request, make for an easy meal… but ah, the dishes. Soon, we’ll add these two cereal bowls to the stack, so let’s finish putting away those groceries. A kiddo hears one of the dogs’ whimper and takes the kind initiative to let the first one out. It just so happens, he darts off. And so it begins….

You quickly toss away the remaining groceries and pour another coffee before going out to track down the dog. Let’s put away the milk you just used for the coffee… open the fridge… and out tumbles the glass dish of baked ziti, along with the fresh carton of EGGS! Somehow, the ziti remains wrapped up, and only 4 eggs crack into the carton. Not too big of a mess, but you have to clean it up… maybe you can salvage the eggs since they cracked into the carton and cook them after you find the dog. You pick out the shell, toss the raw eggs into a bowl, and the phone rings from your husband as the neighbor across the street let him know the dog is out. Yep. I’m getting there.

Hop in the car, roll down the windows, breathe in the crisp air yet again, and try and salvage the tranquility you had just an hour ago. Drive up and down the dirt road across from your house, peering into clearings and yards looking for that busy, black, goober with a bright orange collar who is being fueled by testosterone and his sense of smell. Nothing. You’re probably driving in circles and he’s on the opposite end from where you are. You stop by the house twice, the second time you find the bunny has hopped out of his enclosure, but it’s alright because your oldest daughter is with him. You let her know about the dog and venture back out. You’re making another loop and wondering if you’ll have to make another embarrassing post on FB that basically states, “I’m a horrible pet owner. The GPS tracker collar doesn’t work when you can’t even get cell reception in your county. The dog is out again. I swear we love him. I promise he lives a charmed life. The kids think they’re helping when letting him out. BOLO? Or not… now I’m just so frustrated that I’m becoming a little numb…”  But, then your daughter texts that the dog has returned to the house, but while letting him in, the rabbit popped up, nipped at her cereal bowl, and poured the entire contents on himself. DANG, IT EARL. Yes, the rabbit is named Earl. [In my best Mrs. Doubtfire voice] “Help is on the way, Dear!”

You make it home, google how to bathe rabbits, bathe said rabbit, receive a few scratches, and now you’re standing in your kitchen that you had planned to simply come home and clean an hour and a half ago. Your zest for the day is draining. LITTLE FIRES EVERYWHERE. The eggs. Cook ‘em. Shell? They settle to the bottom of the bowl if you pour them out slowly enough. Coffee? Just go ahead and chug it. You need every ounce of joy you can find at this point.  So, here we are… You’re about to raise your voice at your daughters to beg them to please work together to do the dishes because you feel your last gulp of air is being choked down as you are fighting to keep from suffocating in these little fires. The firmness flies from your mouth before you can stop it. They get it. They hear you. They see you aren’t mad, just worn out. Thank you, LORD, for their grace in this moment of overstimulated exhaustion. But you still feel like you’re out of the running for the *Mother of the Year* award… nearly 11 years strong.

So, as if this Motherhood-If-You-Give-A-Mouse-A-Cookie-style tale hasn’t gone on long enough, you’re going to eat those darn unplanned scrambled eggs, take some deep breaths in your room, and once you have found your clarity in the chaos, you’re going to march your grumpy tail back to those babes and apologize. They need to see a mama that needs their grace in the same way that we all need Grace from our God. They are going to see that despite a wild morning, the day will be salvaged. They are going to see that children deserve apologies and to be treated with the same respect as grown-ups. They are going to see that sometimes you are not in the best headspace to be your best self. And sometimes, your less-than-best self falls upon those closest to you. Teachable moments and opportunities to share our hearts with our kids often happen amongst the chaos… and just as unplanned as cereal on bunnies…and are often “the most beautifullest thing ever, Mama.”

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