Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Small Stuff

My husband is not a morning person. And since he is the other half that donated genetic material to our offspring, it is no wonder that half of our children are the same way. This equation makes the 9:00am church schedule virtually impossible to be on time to.

We try. We really do. It is even one of our family goals for the year with great rewards promised at the end...but we are failing.


Like today.
8:00- I am ready. I make the rounds softly speaking to all sleepy heads that it is time to get up and get ready for church and for Ashton: he needs to shower and now is the time to do it.
8:15- All church clothes are laid out, but there are no bodies awaiting them to clothe, so I make the rounds again, speaking loudly now, and gently shaking blanketed bodies. Frustration is setting in.
8:30- I have Emma ready and start getting her breakfast. Dallin is almost ready. There is no movement from the other bodies. I start speaking very loudly now, giving time frames, and urging them to get a move on.
8:45- Church bags are in the van. Dallin and Emma are ready to go.
8:46- I am yelling now and my frustration is increasing.
8:50- Ashton passes me in the hall on my way to dump Ben out of bed, he tells me he is heading for the shower. I tell him, "I won't be here when you get out because I got up and got ready on time and I am not going to be late."
8:51- I start to dress a 5 1/2 year old rag doll Benjamin amidst his protests and whines making me increasingly more & more frustrated.
9:01- We are late. And now I'm mad.
9:15- We arrive at church, sit in the foyer, and listen as we miss the last of the passing of the sacrament.

When we finally file in to take our seats in the overflow, I am hardly in the mood or have the spirit being in church requires. My foul mood is only increased by Ben's complaints that he is hungry. I probably not so nicely told him if he would get up when he was told to he could have had breakfast. But being the good mother I am, suspecting that this might happen, I pulled out the pretzels and Reese's Puffs in baggies I had packed. Realizing that this was the only food available he had a meltdown and proceeded to scold me for not bringing any bread for him. Perhaps, I'm not as good of a mother that I thought I was; I can't even get church treats right.

In the middle of his berating speech, Emma & Ashton spotted the Reese's Puffs, only Emma didn't want to share with Ashton. Trying to shut out Ben's incessant and scolding whine, I calmly tried to tell her that she needed to share them with Ashton. She didn't like this sharing idea, so in true 2 year old fashion, she swung her arm in a wide sweeping motion sending the cereal flying in a 4 foot semi-circle across the shiny gym floor starting at the base of my chair.

I had had it.

Richard looked at me and I looked back at him. I would pay money to be able to see the expression that was on my face.

Embarrassment, anger, defeat, frustration, or caution: volcano ready to explode. Whatever it was, Richard quickly took Emma away from me and out into the hall for a time out. One down.

But there was still Benjamin and that whine.

I wondered why I even came to church.

I tried to explain that the pretzels were all I had now and that I had come to church to listen to the speakers, not to hear him whine, so to please, for the love of Pete, STOP.

But the whine continued.

It continued through most of Sister Randle's testimony and then became spotty through Sister Giles. It was spotty enough that I heard Sister Giles testify that she knew that "Families are Forever".

Forever felt really long this morning. And frankly, not that tempting.
An eternity of whine about Wonder Bread?
No thanks. I think I will pass.

But then Brother Stephenson got up to the podium and I found my reason for being in church today. He talked about being overwhelmed with all the little things of life and finding perspective in the scriptures. He said that they helped him realize the big things that seem to matter so much now are really small in the scheme of things.

Kind of like this morning.

One really bad morning in the middle of so many other good things that my family provides for me is not worth wishing it all away. I was struck with the saying, "I never said it would be easy, I only said it would be worth it."
So I've decided maybe forever sounding like a long time really is a good thing.

Just as long as there is no whine involved...

... and Reese's Puffs are still welcome.


Jeanne said...

Oh how your post took me back to my 3 little boys and 1 little girl! Your brothers and you! So glad I hung in there with your dad gone to early meetings, and him sitting on the stand most of the time your were growing up. Glad some of you sat at the Clerk's table with him, too! AND, really glad you can see the Bigger Picture after a Sunday morning like that! It is worth it... then come other little gliches... Oh, never mind! Hang in there with my other little ones. I love you all.

Rachel said...

I can not tell you how many meetings I have sat through smoldering. Exactly as you described. And then one day it hit me! Who cares? Better that we make it than not at all. Totally took the stress out. I do try to get us there on time but on the mornings when the flo just is plugged up like a constipated biggie. Deep breath.....we're late. At least we're going.

I'll never forget the time I was crawling around on my hands and knees cleaning up exploded cheerios as Michelle Tuinie sat giggling and laughing at me. We've all been there. :D

Chastina said...

I completely understand! I'm glad you made it and I got to sit with you in Sunday School and RS!

Tami Anderson said...

This was an amazing piece of writing. Thanks for it. You are an outstanding mother.

Bless Dallin's heart for being one of the early risers.

Anonymous said...

You're a trooper to plow ahead and go anyhow; it would have been much easier to just stay home.

Good for you. You can put in a good word for me when you get to heaven.

PMC said...

your awesome nat. such a good woman. loved this post!! :)

Gerb said...

The only reason I go to sacrament meeting at this point is to teach my children that it's where they need to be. I rarely get anything out of it but I figure I'll have plenty of empty-nester years for that eventually.

Don't sweat the small stuff. ;)

Ty n Casey's Mom said...

OMGoodness, been there done that! It's so hard because Satan really wants us to think it's not worth it so we will give up. Hang in there! And ya know what, it's OK if you're late. What counts is that you're TRYING. Some people won't even go that far!!

A GAL NEEDS... said...

My prediction is that if you can get through this year, things will get a whole lot easier? Super great post!

Richard & Natalie said...

Mom, I'm sorry I gave you nightmares....

Rachel, I will just start singing "I'm trying to be like Rachel" when I get frustrated.

Chastina, I'm glad too. It's nice to be together again... and we aren't teaching the 3 yr olds.

Tami, Dallin is usually cheerful too, so let's bless him twice.

Anon, Staying home crossed my mind, believe me. I would love to put a good word in for you, if I only knew your name...But then again God knows who you are, so I guess we are good.

Misty, I'm trying...Trying being the key word.

Gerb, I completely agree. I wish there was an antiperspirant for the small stuff, maybe I would be better at not sweating it then.

Karen, Satan has a good argument there doesn't he? I'll keep trying just to prove him wrong.

Helena, Is the end of the world this year? J/K! It will get better; it always does.

Rob and Marseille said...

awww...I'm glad Rob's testimony helped. Also, I had no idea all that had happened when we smiled at each other (how come the gym and the hallway are the only places Michael will be quiet?). Doesn't school start @ 8:30? so they technically get to sleep in an extra 1/2hr? Maybe make their favorite breakfast to entice them in? I have to be ready by 8:00 for us to make it on time too.

Unknown said...

Whew. I'm exhausted and overwhelmed just reading this. And very, very thankful for my two highly trained kids who get out of bed at 6:45 and fix their own breakfast while I wake up in the shower. Yes, indeedy...counting those two blessings. ;)