Ali and I will be taking the girls to Gatlinburg, Tennessee, next week to indulge in a relaxing vacation in the mountains. We’ve both been daydreaming about coffee on the cabin’s porch overlooking the famous mists of the Smoky Mountains. But first we have to get through the storm.
The last couple of weeks have been simply maddening — in all senses. We’ve been so busy, I don’t know how we’ve kept our wits about us. Managing schedules has been a magic trick, and regular chores have been sacrificed for sleep. Our houses have been a wreck, not least of which because we both have had home improvement projects going on top of the chaos.
Then we both got sick during a full moon, causing our tempers to flare with anything and everything we encountered — except each other, for some odd reason. Typically, arguing is just a matter of daily life for the two of us, but we were united in our anger this time. We hated the world but provided the encouragement and support each needed to survive without doing serious damage.
We have one week left: of school, of work, of extracurricular activities, of household chores, of responsibility, of the storm. We will weather it together. I know our struggles are not uncommon in the parenting world, so take a moment and look around. Can you be a calming force in anyone’s storm?
It has been the most beautiful spring this year. The temperatures have been mild but warm. The sun has been shining. You can see the individual blooms on the trees blooming. Snow seems to be a thing of the past. These are all things that were skipped over last spring, and the girls and I have been soaking it all up.
Story can frustrate me like no one else, but even in the deepest pits of exasperation, I can’t deny that she has the kindest heart and is a true and good friend. As it should, most times this works in her favor. But there are other times it works against her, and kindness gets mixed up with submission.
You know those times in motherhood when your children are behaving, they use their manners, entertain themselves, and show you and others respect in every interaction? Those days where you can just sit back and enjoy all the hard parenting work you’ve done? These last two weeks were nowhere near that. Quite the opposite, in fact. The last two weeks were those days in motherhood when you realize that your children are ungrateful, rude, and whiny. Maybe it was too much together time on vacation. Maybe they were readjusting to their routine. Maybe they just watched too many YouTube videos. Whatever the excuse was, I was over it. Way over it.
Last Sunday we returned from our wild Florida adventure. It was a whirlwind week with lots of sights and experiences. Just the way I like a vacation to be! In total we covered over 2,800 miles and visited eight different towns. As promised, here is my summary of our adventures: