The other day I was having “one of those mornings.” The funny thing is,though, that I had no idea I was having “one of those mornings” until Iwas near my breaking point. Every single kid needed hand-holding helpwith school work.
“Mama, how do you spell ‘congratulations?’”
“Mama, what’s the difference between active voice and passive?”
“Mama, how do I figure out what 40% of 13 is?”
Arrrgh. Times at least 4.
Anyway, I was handling the schooling kids’ needs and holding thebaby when I realized Raphael was missing. That is pretty much never agood thing, and so I did not relish the idea of finding him anddiscovering what kind of disaster he had managed to fabricate while therest of us were distracted. It was right about then that Stephen calledfrom the bathroom. Requiring potty assistance, of course.
I decided to save the Raphael surprise for just a few minuteslater, and I made my way — still holding the baby — through the livingroom and toward the bathroom. Along the way, I noticed my husband’sjacket was left on the rocking chair. I picked up the jacket, openedthe closet, and prepared to use my one free hand to wrangle it onto ahanger.
As I reached for the hanger, I was startled by a sudden and urgent desire to step all the way into the closet … and close the door behind me.
It was then that I realized I must be having “one of thosemornings.” The kind of morning mothers of large families aren’t allowedto have. The kind of morning homeschoolers aren’t allowed to have. Weneed to always be “on” don’t we? We can’t be weak or imperfect lestanyone think that our unconventional life choices have been foolishones.
But I figure that if I was seriously considering hiding in thecloset and genuinely savoring the idea of the 5 minutes peace such amaneuver might buy me, I might as well admit it. I was having “one ofthose mornings.”
Well I am pleased to tell you that I did not succumb to temptation.I did not hide in the closet. I hung up the coat, deposited the baby insomeone’s lap, and I reported for potty duty. Then I returned toschoolwork hand-holding with a smile. Because you know what? It wasfunny. I counted the number of “Mamas” I heard and laughed. I looked atthe number of children who filled my dining room and laughed. Where did these kids come from? What in the world ever gave me the idea that I should pretend this kind of responsibility was easy?
And as it turns out, the closet thing would not have been thebrilliant move it at first appeared to be. In fact, I wouldn’t havegotten even 30 seconds of peace out of the deal. Raphael was in there.