I was irritated.
I was irritated and all I wanted was my routine. As a busy mom, I make the most of every day by having a routine. A routine helps me stay on track. My routine all but ensures I’ll accomplish something, and more importantly, it helps me retain my sanity when chaos erupts.
It has been a weird day.
It started rough, had relaxing moments, chaotic moments, gardening moments, and baking moments.
It has been a full day. So full, my husband was snoring before 9.
I don’t normally put Charlie to sleep. He and daddy have their own bedtime routine and I’m not usually a part of it. I make sure the pull-up is clean and the “jam jams” are on, then Louie and I get our goodnight kisses and bear hugs and we leave daddy and Charlie alone to have story time, prayer time, and song time.
This is how it has been almost since the beginning. The last couple of nights he’s asked for mommy. Now, let me just say that while I absolutely love when my little Charlie Bear wants his mommy, he’s also a master at extending the go to bed ritual by asking for everything twice…and when I do put him to bed, it takes a lot longer because he usually wants me to read all the story’s daddy did, plus he wants me to cuddle with him until he falls asleep…this usually ends with me falling asleep next to him in his twin sized bed and waking up in the middle of the night with horrendous aches and pains.
I was already irritated. The garage light was on and the door was wide open. When I ventured out into the darkness to tidy up the yard and close things up, I discovered the cellar lights were also on. This meant I had to venture further out into the darkness – out of the fence and down the side of the house to the cellar I went. My irritation growing.
Why am I irritated? Routines are great but they’re not foolproof. Life happens and it’s usually not according to plan or in line with anyone’s routine. Life doesn’t ask you when it should do anything…life just happens…all the time.
It happened again tonight. Charlie wants his mommy and mommy is in full routine mode. My nightly to do list is packed with dishes, laundry, math homework, writing, cleaning and whatever else I can squeeze in. I don’t have time for anything else! My husband is getting ready for bed. Chilled from his day outside and exhausted from working so much, he’s done for the day.
So, begrudgingly I whip out a few things as fast as I can, wiping down the table and setting up my computer for homework, before heading up those 14 wide oak steps. I walk down the dark hallway and emerge into Charlie’s room. Most of the lights are now on and he’s joyfully playing with his giant Megablock dump truck and Mega Blocks. His smile could light up the darkest of places and I feel my irritation begin to fade.
He doesn’t want to read tonight. He announces to me that I must change his pull-up, so of course I do. Then he asks me not to sit on the bed but to kneel on the floor, so of course I do. We say our prayers one more time and for the first time, my sweet little Charlie Bear asked me to sing him a song.
Charlie doesn’t usually let me sing. Apparently, I sing sad songs and Charlie doesn’t like that so normally, I get, “Mama! Stop that!”
But tonight was different. Tonight my little boy wanted me to sing to him and my heart expanded with joy and the irritation that had held me hostage all day was now gone.
He’d put me on the spot. I don’t normally sing songs to him, so I didn’t know what to sing! I started with Wallace Willis’ Swing Low, Sweet Chariot, but when I could no longer remember the words and began to trail off, Charlie asked for another song. So I sang the only song I could think of off the top of my head – Amazing Grace.
As I began to sing the words to my sweet little Charlie Bear, he folded his hands together ever so gently as if he were praying, and closed his eyes. After two verses and the second chorus, I thought he might be asleep so when I stopped singing, Charlie told me I sang good and smiled.
All I’d needed today was to hear that. Suddenly, my irritation was completely forgotten and the joy and love that had replaced it were intoxicating. Charlie asked if I would cuddle with him and of course I had to. After the day I apparently had, I needed that time to stop and just be. Time to just be with my little Charlie Bear. My routine would be there tomorrow, and life was happening right now. If we “stick” to our routines too closely, we miss out on life. If we always let the GPS tell us where we’re going, we never experience all the amazing places we’ve never been.
Life is my little Louie D kicking his crib because he’s too lazy to climb out. We’ll have to evict that one! Life is my little Charlie Bear asking me to sing to him and telling me I’m good. My life is the smiles on their faces, the laughter in their voices and the love and joy in their eyes. Routines are great, but they don’t hold water to the love I get just because I’m a mama.
It has not easy but it’s so incredibly worth it.
I am so thankful and so blessed for my Amazing Graces. My little Louie D and my biggest little, Charlie T.