How many times can a mother repeat instructions to unhearing children until she feels like a shadow?
Oh yes, it was on of those days when it took two hours to eat lunch and clear the floor so I could vacuum. Do they put toys away just to be distracted by another?
I feel a mommy meltdown coming on.
“Mommy, can I ride my bike with you when Daddy gets home to watch Noah?”
“Maybe, we’ll see,” for the tenth time. Chloe’s mind was on her bicycling goal of the day, deaf to anything else told to her – like, “clean your room”, and “sit down when you eat.”
And Noah is just two and thinks it’s funny to run around with pull-ups on his head.
Of course, while I’m accusing them of distraction, my own mind can’t get out of Chapter 7 – my campfire scene. While I chop tomatoes and serve lunch, I am mentally writing about weary nomads enjoying a fire in the Rocky Mountains. All the while, I can feel the warmth of the fire and an occasional spark upon my face as Chloe asks me the same question she did two minutes ago. Noah is chanting his new favorite word, poo-poo, while we eat.
Naptime brings a temper tantrum to poo-poo boy.
And so it goes like this until I have to bear-hug Noah to get him to calm down and Chloe is handing me one of her babies because she can see I’m on the verge of losing it. She passes me Bernard the raccoon, and all I can do is snap at her because she still hasn’t cleaned her room.
I feel singed.
It’s finally silent and I am not going to get out chapter 7 because it’s probably my fault they are out of control today. They know when I’m distracted and in turn, push mommy into the shadows because they can. The campfire will have to smolder for now.
I take a deep breath and pull out The Word – my eyes find this Psalm:
1. How happy is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in His ways!
2. You will surely eat what your hands have worked for. You will be happy, and it will go well for you.
3. Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house, your sons, like young olive trees around your table…Psalm 128: 1-3
The crinkling of paper captures my attention. I look toward Chloe’s door where underneath it she has slipped something. I pick up a drawing of a face with a little nose, smiling. Rabbit ears constructed out of Kleenex are attached by lotion, the closest thing she has to glue in her room.
A giggle meats my“Oh”, and her little face appears in the crack of the door.
This is my vine, who came to know Jesus with the testimony of a cat’s love and gives peace offerings in the midst of shadows. I hug her and thank the One who is gracious enough to clear away the smoke.
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit-fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. This is my command: Love each other. John 15:16