I wish I were one of my kids, instead of the mom, sometimes. I remember when I was a kid, and my mother would make pancakes in her iron frying pan. She made huge pancakes, none of the cute little ones that I make for my own kids. Each one was as big as the pan, and we each had one, often struggling to finish it. She stood at the stove, frying them up, and we ate them fresh from the pan, as they were done. The last one was for her, she sat and at it as we were finishing up. She was always last. When I had kids, and I made them pancakes, I stacked them up on platters and had them wait, so we could all eat together. But as I stood at the stove, I realized what "being the mom" is.
It's seeing what needs to be done, and recruiting help to do it.
It's always having things to do.
It's making sure things get done.
It's encouraging, forcing, cajoling, and ordering...kids to do things they don't always want to do.
It's getting out of bed in the morning and forgetting my own problems, as I focus on what the kids need for the day.
It's spending hours on my knees (literally and figuratively) praying for the wisdom to deal with those flukey little things that surprise me every single time, and also self control and patience.
It's keeping them fed and clothed, educated and prepared for their days.
It's making darned sure that I personally have my own life straight with God, so that I'm in the position to encourage and exhort them to take what comes on their way in the right way.
It's understanding what is important in life, and what isn't.
It's keeping track of the library books, and making sure we don't run out of toilet paper.
It's being the bad guy when they've all been on their iPods too much.
It's paying attention to who needs attention.
It's biting my tongue when I want to lash out, and bringing up things I don't want to discuss when I think it's for their good.
It's putting them first while also putting my husband first.
It's taking care of myself so I can be around for them.
It's dropping what I thought I was going to do today when I have to pick them up at school because they have a headache.
It's teaching them to drive...Kathryn and Evelyn are both learning now, #10 and #11...and I still stomp those invisible brakes.
It's making cookies for their favorite teacher when all I want to do is sit and put my feet up.
It's going to the dreaded mall when they NEED a new dress or bathing suit or bra...and waiting so patiently while they try things on.
It's accidentally putting their favorite hoodie in the dryer and promising to buy them a new one.
It's saving them a plate of dinner because they have to run out the door for something or other when dinner is being served.
It's setting a few chicken wings aside from the sauce, a few meatballs aside from the sauce, every time, because Sonja likes them plain.
Oh...it's a lot of things. I am not always good at all of these things, and sometimes I wish I was just one of the kids, and someone else had the huge load of responsibility that comes with Being Mom.
We are heading to the Adirondacks in five days. Five days. There are like 20 of us going, and we need food...the older kids are pitching in and bringing stuff, but still. I have to buy lots of food. And you know how it is, if you remember 299 food items, you get no credit, but heck, if you forget the ketchup, BAD MOM, ha.
I have told them each to pack sheets and a towel. But my head is still spinning with all that I have to remember. The kitchen table is now the grand central station of things set aside for Cabin In The Woods.
Am I excited for Cabin In The Woods? Oh yeah. Coffee on the screened porch in the morning, listening to the loons, either alone as I wake early there, or with whoever else got up early...Mirielle, Evelyn, Mali...just lovely. The campfires? A blast. Sitting in the sun on the dock, playing musical chairs, swimming in the freezing but sparkling clean Adirondack water...refreshing and so much fun, as I totally love basking in the kids' enjoyment of this.
But. I know that even at the camp, Being Mom means knowing where everything is, what we're having for every meal and snack. I am bringing a whole boatload of foam plates, sorry environment! I am not spending my vacation washing dishes:)
Anyway. I am excited to be with the kids, hopefully they all get along well and I don't have to put on my striped shirt and get out the whistle. Hopefully we can all take turns with meals and clean up. Hopefully we get lots of sun shining on the dock.
Today, I take Miss Camille to the orthopedic doctor to get her an ankle x-ray. She's hoping it's all healed and she'll be done with the boot, for camp. Me too.
Tonight we are taking the two cats and one black lab to the rabies clinic for their shots, which promises to be a good time.
Tomorrow night, Samuel starts leave, and drives home, arriving on Wednesday morning. Wednesday night, we are having a graduation party for Kathryn, last minute. So I have to clean the house and make food, and a huge cake. In the midst of the kitchen table Grand Central Station thing..ha.
But life is good, and one thing at a time, and all of that.