Friday, February 7, 2014

Carry On, Mama.

This morning I spoke to my son's 4th-grade class for a couple of minutes about an upcoming service project that I am somehow overseeing. I'm still not sure how this came to be but it meant that I had to be reasonably presentable when I walked out the door by 7:20 am, sans shower. Three kids, three lunches, three breakfasts, one dog, the obligatory coffee and medicine and don't forget to brush your teeth. An everyday morning can feel like mayhem, like you've run a marathon and the day has just begun. Being "presentable" in the midst of all this is no small feat.

On my way back out of the school, I passed a mom and her kid walking in. The mom had a confident smile on her face and was sporting a knee-length fleece bathrobe and sneakers. I fought the urge to run back in and hug her and give her a high-five and tell her she's my hero. I am so serious. Why? Because maybe she didn't have it together on a Friday morning but she got her kid to school anyway, bathrobe and all. 

I texted my husband and here's what he wrote me back. "That's awesome. #nofearofman." It is awesome, isn't it?

Listen, I'm not about bringing bathrobes and pajamas into mainstream fashion. In fact, pajama-clad people in Walmart make me feel a tad uncomfortable, like our lines between public and private have become creepishly blurry.

That's not what I'm talking about. And just to be clear, this post is not commentary on appropriate public attire. It's a post about having a string of crazy days and choosing to carry on anyway, even if it means running late and wearing wrap-around fleece. It's a post about sucking it up when you have to run a middle-schooler's lunch into the front office because she left it when she got out of the van and on this particular day you happened to be wearing pajama pants and a gross sweatshirt from 1991 and fuzzy slipper boots because you didn't think you'd be getting out of your vehicle. Hypothetically speaking of course.

Sometimes we just have a week that's felt like a month and by the time Friday rolls around, we are done. We are all I'm rockin' the bathrobe today or pajama pants today and I dare you to judge me. 


Because middle school homework is from the devil.

Because my husband and I got into a fight yesterday, ironically as I was on my way out the door for Bible study. Guess what the argument was about? Dog food.

Because one kid who can ace tests without studying somehow struggles to get dressed every. single. morning.

Because another kid cries about going to school due to dental hygiene day. The dentist was coming and I guess he was afraid there would be terrifying mass teeth cleanings up and down the kindergarten hallway. 

Because one of my dearest friends suddenly lost her mom a week ago and we cried on the phone for a long time together Wednesday. I can't stop thinking about her deep sadness and loss.

Because the nights have been extra late and the mornings have been extra early and the stress has been extra intense.

Because I am a writer who hasn't had a single morning to write in many days and this makes me question my existence.

Because I sat down to write on Wednesday morning and in the midst of silent prayer on my sofa, I fell asleep. Until 11:30. 

Because my kitchen looks like a bomb went off and it will take an act of God plus another strong cup of coffee for me to find the motivation to clean it up. Just in time to cook another meal.

Because of life.

And this is the real everyday for most of us. This is the stuff that any given Monday or Thursday is made of. This is why we need grace in the form of a bathrobe or a pat on the back or a Venti vanilla latte by the time certain Fridays roll around. This is why we shouldn't judge PB&Js for dinner or kitchens that are a wreck first thing in the morning or moms with kids who leave the same folder at home four days in a row. And the library book. 

Did you get your kids to school this week or do some semblance of school with them at home?

Did you feed them? Rock them? Do your best to get them to sleep?

Do they know they're loved?

Awesome. You're getting the job done. It may not be pretty or perfect but you are loved and so are they. 

Rock your french-fries and your fizzy drink from the drive-thru. Rock your #nofearofman hashtag and your minivan that's littered in popcorn and cracker crumbs. Rock your weary faces lined with age and laughter and your puffy eyes inflated by sleep-deprivation and tears. 

It's Friday. You've made it. The chaos and exhaustion are all signs of life, proof that you and yours live fully and richly and honestly. 

What bountiful gifts we have in the midst of our beautiful messes.

Be grateful. Be gracious. Be kind to the other weary mamas in your life. Be content without your concealer and lip gloss. And by all means, be okay in your bathrobe or fuzzy slipper boots for one day in your life.

Carry on dear mamas. 

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  1. Oh this was wonderful! Poor little guy, dental hygiene and the thought of what all that could mean is terrifying! (but if had me laughing)

  2. Here's a plan: move down here and be my neighbor. Because we do. We share a brain. I. Needed. This. To. Day. The not writing and the tailspin and the mess? It's all happening. Yesterday, I volunteered to help a sweet friend with her children for an hour or so. As she was leaving she began to walk upstairs to gather up lagging children. Cue slow motion "Noooooo!" Because? Disaster Zone. And I don't even mean that in the way we sometimes do where we think it's messy but it's really not. No. It is so beyond that.

    But. I helped her with her kids. And I did some other things which I started to list but it doesn't really matter. I just needed to remember that life did happen and it was good life even if it was all wonky.

    Love you, friend!

  3. Thanks. This week I drove my son to school in my blue fuzzy bathrobe. Just had to laugh and smile :)

  4. This one. Laughing. Sighing. Cheering.

    There's just something about dog food being the subject of an argument between lovers (a.k.a. husband and wife)--as one of them is heading out the door to dig into the Word of the Creator of the universe--that comes close to summarizing the relentless insanity of this thing we call "life." What a testimony to GRACE it is that we keep living it.

    Thanks, again, dear one.


  5. Reading this while sitting in the dentist office, while Caedmon gets a filling, laughing and crying out loud. Wait, reverse that. Anyway, perfect entry for this day, this week. Thank you for the picture of a messy kitchen.

  6. This, my friend, is a most potent post! If your days of struggling with what to write eventually produce this, then those days were well worth the blank page and blinking cursor : )

  7. Also, I thought it was just me who questions her existence when she can't write. Glad I'm not alone :)

  8. I gifted my boyfriend with the Plush robe. We live in the mountains and He was complaining about being cold. The only thing he said after receiving this robe is "toasty, toasty, I'm so toasty". He loves it. It keeps his very warm, sometimes too warm. If Plush Necessities made their terry robe in blue, I would have bought it the next day..


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