I had a panic attack this morning.
It wasn't the kind that had me gasping for breath and clutching my stomach- although I've had those too. This was the heart racing, vision blurring, jaw clenching moment of overwhelmed FREAKING OUT.
It happened when my almost 6-year-old was attempting to read the sentence "Jan fed the hens." to me. He had successfully navigated through the sounds of 'J' and 'a' ...and it all fell apart. He started spitting out sounds that aren't even part of the alphabet, and then guessing at words that aren't part of the English language...and after a few moments of patiently pointing to the letter 'n' and asking him what sound that letter alone made...it all went fuzzy.
HOW IN THE HOLY @#$% will I ever teach this kid to read? And I still have another boy to teach after him! Not to mention the 2nd grade boy who is still a challenge every day. THREE BOYS!!!
I suddenly felt like I was in the middle of someone's cruel joke.
I can't do it. I can't do it. I can't DO IT.
Before you judge me too harshly, it wasn't just the sudden departure of the 5-year-old's brain function. The 2 year old has the croup, which made for a night of very little sleep. The 8-year-old was crying and moaning at his desk because he couldn't remember what 11 minus 7 equalled, and the 10 year old was staring out the window instead of working on her language page. The 2-year-old coughing CRAB was standing outside the door to the school room (where he had been forcibly removed to by his mother...whoever that is) knocking on the locked door, crying.
"Mommy!!! Guess what?" he yelled after a minute.
"What?" I asked.
"You're mean!" he responded.
At that exact same moment my clogged sinuses decided to let in some of the smells surrounding me, and I got a whiff of the 5-year-old's hands.
"NATE!!! Your hands smell like poop! Did you forget to wash them?"
Even Gabe paused in his door beating, screaming tirade to giggle.
And I saw gray around the edges of my vision.
This is my life. My two-year old tells me I'm mean, and while I should certainly punish him for that...he's probably justified in his feelings, since I LOCKED him out of a room. My five-year-old forgets to wash his hands and comes to the school room smelling like butt, and then can't remember anything I've been busting my butt to teach him for the last several months. My eight-year-old CANNOT recall that 11 and 7 and 4 go together in addition and subtraction facts, no matter how many times we review it. My 10 year old sneaks video games into her room at night and stays up till midnight beating levels of Angry Birds, so she's too tired to retain her language concepts.
And my toilets are dirty, and my floor has crumbs on it and smells vaguely of vomit (because the baby gagged himself coughing yesterday and who the heck has time to wash the rug in the kitchen that caught most of the puke?) and we don't have any food to eat for lunch, because the store brings out the worst in my kids and sucks the patience out of me, and my love handles are growing rapidly, but if I choose to workout I won't have time to brush my teeth or put on clothes...
Are you feeling sorry for me yet? If not, its okay. I am feeling sorry for myself enough for everyone in the county.
After the panic subsided, I released the 5-year-old from his reading prison, and the 8 year old from his math prison, and the 2 year old from his hallway prison, and the 10-year-old from her language prison..and I ate two cupcakes while giving my love handles the metaphorical finger.
And now I am attempting to regain perspective on my life.
The problem isn't with my life, if I'm honest. I love my life. I am crazy over my blonde headed wild bunch. I really love being a stay-at-home mom and homeschool teacher.
The problem...well, its just been one of those mornings. We all have them. We will all have more of them. And every single uplifting, spiritually encouraging thing I could say right now would make me throw up in my mouth (and that would be adding insult to injury, since the presence of vomit aroma is already established) I'm just too grumpy and overwhelmed to hear any of the truths that I know.
But the Lord doesn't give up on me.
Thank goodness. It may be tomorrow before I am able to refocus on Him, and the truth, and enjoy the moments of my crazy life, and work out, and brush my teeth, and teach a school lesson without more than one person ending up in tears, and eat a salad instead of a cupcake...but He never loses patience.
He is the teacher. I am the student who is spitting out sounds that are nothing close to the Word I am supposed to be saying...and my hands smell like crap, and I am throwing a fit, and I have forgotten something I have learned a million times, and I can't focus on accomplishing the task set before me...
And He is still patient. And if He's having a panic attack and considering hitting me over the head with a ruler...He's hiding it well.
He's saying to me "Relax. We'll work on that tomorrow. For now, come sit in my lap. Let's play a game, or watch a movie, or read a book. Let's spend time together, little girl. Just me and you."
And so, I am going to learn from my Teacher. I'm going to go read a book with my kids, and maybe watch a movie, and definitely snuggle with them and give them kisses and hugs and tell them I love them.
We will work on the word "Jan" and the problem 11-7=4, and the respectful way to speak to one's mother, and the appropriate time of night for kids to stop playing Angry Birds, tomorrow.
Today we're spending time together. We're focusing on loving each other.
My two year old just came into the room and said "Mommy, guess what? I love you."
And the panic is replaced with peace. And the Teacher says "Class dismissed."
Thank you, Teacher.