Does anyone else have unspeakable joy in her (or his) heart, but have days when it just feels like there’s a cloud over the mind? There are some days when everything feels muddled up there and like I’m swimming against the current. Today was a “cloudy” day. I’m sure there’s a strong correlation to elements of being female, yet these sorts of days seem to catch me off guard.
In addition to my cloud, I started to see signs of it over my kids, too. We had gone to buy a relatively short list of school supplies, and started talking about lunch plans. Little A wanted to go out to eat at a favorite restaurant, but L wanted to just go home. I could’ve been happy either way. I’ve been trying not to say “yes” to my daughter simply to avoid her crying, and since her brother really wanted to go home, I said we should probably save the restaurant for another day. Plus, she had told me she would walk or ride in the cart during our shopping trip, but ended up asking me to carry her pretty much the whole time. That suggested to me that she was tired to begin with, and any sensible person knows that taking a tired 3-year old anywhere public can backfire quickly.
She sobbed, screamed, pleaded the whole 15-minute ride home, poor little one. Even after we had gone inside the house, she was begging me to have lunch at home and then go back out to the restaurant to have another lunch! I’m glad we had gone home. She had a good, nourishing meal and her cloud was almost gone! She even got a little quiet and snuggly, so we attempted our first nap in weeks, but it was a failed attempt. To my parents’ pool we went–two doors down.
While swimming, I mentioned in passing to my mom an event that V and I were invited to on Friday early evening, knowing that if she and my dad were available, they would be able to care for and play with the kids for the few hours we’d be out. L overheard me and then his “cloud” began to storm! He is wise beyond his years and usually very mature, but when it comes to his mom and dad going out to do anything together, he gets really upset. For his sake, I’ll withhold all that was said, but it’s always a tricky conversation. It got even trickier because he kept bobbing under the water!
By this time, V had shown up at my parents’ house after work. It’s always a nice surprise to see him before dinner after so many years of the opposite! V and I are very similar in our way of speaking to the kids and in our discipline, but as soon as L saw his daddy, he snapped out of his rut almost entirely!
As has been the case of late, L’s bad mood had been triggered by some of the sad feelings he has over moving. He misses his friends intensely, and spending every day with his mommy and sister has been different and a bit challenging. He also struggles with the amount of attention that his sister requires, though he claims to understand that she doesn’t play independently that well or that long yet. V and I each got to talk with him alone, which was really helpful.
My heart has been pulled in dozens of different directions today. I feel like I let my children down by perhaps letting too much of my “cloud” shadow them today, without even realizing it. I wasn’t always as patient or calm as I should have been. I tried with both of them to shift our focus, or celebrate the positive things, but we never really broke the cycle.
They are blissfully sleeping now. We had a relaxing, easy bedtime, after V had prayed for our family and given thanks. I put my head down on a pillow on the floor in the kids’ room and fell asleep before both of them. I only snoozed for ten minutes, but it was amazingly refreshing. Maybe we were all just more tired than we realized? Little A had fallen asleep, too, in a characteristically awkward pose across her air mattress that stays right next to her brother’s bed.
When L sees that his sister is asleep, he beckons for me to come sit with him on the end of his bed for a bit. My heart aches that I don’t get as much time alone with my precious boy as I used to, but I try to remind him that I’m doing my best. We ended the day happily, and hopefully as we look for a new day to start over again.
Sometimes we have days like this, and sometimes we have weeks, or even seasons of life like this. It’s hard to feel like you’re swimming against the current constantly. I am thankful and in awe that our days like this are few and far between. We truly have nothing to complain about, and we have put our lives in the hands of a faithful and loving God.
It might have been a cloudy day, but we can see the sun. And that hope comes because I can see The Son. I would be nothing without him. Blessings…