/> Raising Angels: Letting Go

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Letting Go

I've been struggling with guilt lately. Mostly it has to do with working outside of the home and all that goes with that. I'm not able to attend all of the kids' events. Sometimes the house is a wreck. Some nights I get home to find out that no one really had dinner, unless you count Pop Tarts and cereal. The list could go on and on.

Basically, I feel like when I'm not home everything and everyone falls apart and it's my fault.

Maybe it's because I have my first...gulp...senior and life seems to be moving at the speed of a bullet train and I can't slow it down. Maybe it's my life long struggle with perfectionism. If it's worth doing or having, it should be perfect right? Well, not exactly thank goodness. Maybe it's the forever season I've been in where life is just not going the way it's supposed to (at least the way I think it should), or that I planned. Maybe it's getting back into the swing of school and all that that entails. Or maybe it's that I took one of two kids to a different doctor on six of the last eight school days.

No matter the reason, the results are the same: me yelling at the kids about how they are messing things up, causing me more work, or not doing what they know they should, or me crying to Nelson about what a terrible mother I am and how I hate that the reason that everything and everyone seems to be falling apart is me.

Sheesh. Sounds out of whack when I type it.

I know enough to know the truth when I see it and, though there is a shred of truth in all of that, none of it is the whole truth.

Today I was sitting in my room finishing up my prayer time, when Felicity walked in. "Hey, why don't you go get dressed and make your bed," I suggested, hoping that would buy me the time to finish up.

She came back in with in a minute or two, and said, "Mama, let's go to the pool!"

I thought this was an odd request because we haven't been to the pool since school started. Then I looked up and realized that when she went in to get dressed, the drawer she opened was the one with the bathing suits in it and she had one in her hand. She looked at me again, hair disheveled, eyes wide, dimples in full crater mode. "Mama...PLEASE. I really like the pool. I have fun there. We can go."

As I began to explain to her all the things I had to do today, something stopped me. I looked at her miniature body and drank in her pleading smile. I realized, that although I had a lot to do, I didn't have a good excuse not to spend some time with this girl.

So, we drove across town to our pool. We signed a special waver this year that enables the pool to stay open for us even when no lifeguards are present. We arrived, punched in our gate code and had the entire place to ourselves.

We swam, I videoed her "jumping in" in slow motion, we played some game she invented...just Felicity and me.

As I drove her home, I began to remember moments like this I've had with all of the kids. Each, in their turn had some time with me once the bigger ones went to school. Some were lucky enough to get one on one time, others got it in smaller groups, but they all got it.

For the most part, I've been to every event possible. I've taken them out to eat and cooked more meals for them than I can begin to count. They have had clean clothes when they needed them. I've made many trips to the school to bring a forgotten item. I've helped them study for countless hours and lost lots of sleep waiting for them to finish a paper they want me to check over. I've sent food for parties and celebrated the half birthdays at school (who knew there was such a thing?) of my summer birthday kids.

In short, I HAVE been there. I still am. And, well let's face it, when you have five kids, you simply can't be everywhere for every one of them all the time. Sometimes you have to choose the 8 year old's soccer championship over the junior's volleyball tournament at the same time. Those are the moments when you thank God for friends who send you play by play updates of your girl who is having the game of her season, while you watch as your son's undefeated team loses their first game in the championship. You hate you missed the good game, but when you see the tears and give the needed after game hug, you know you're where you were needed most.

I have to believe that God gets all of this. He gave me these kids and He knows their needs and loves them better than I do. Some days I see the big picture and am overwhelmed by the goodness of life. Other days I cry on my way to work and pray that Moses prayer, "God I can't, you can, and you PROMISED!" with tears streaming down my cheeks and fist shaking at Heaven.

At some point I have to give in to Him and let Him be there in the times that I can't. When I was in school I used to have a little card I placed in front of me as I studied for tests. On it was written, "Do your best and let God do the rest". It gave me peace and reminded me that there's a lot more to the equation than me.

Time to let go. Time to realize that God's got this...much, oh so much better than I do. Time to trust in that.


Anonymous Mom said...

you are a fantastic wife, mother,sister daughter and friend to all!

12:27 PM  

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