I may be having a mid-life crisis.
The fact that I have not yet arrived at what most people consider 'mid-life crisis' age...that doesn't matter to me one bit. I'm a rebel, after all, and one of my favorite things in the world is bucking what convention says or expects or accepts.
So yes, I am having a full blown crisis, at the age of 33almost34.
I do NOT like this crisis.
There are no sports cars, or plastic surgery, or any of the things most people associate with mid-life crises.
There is only me, in an emotional state of upheaval, unsure of who I am or why, surrounded by people who just think I'm having PMS.
Poor me. (insert my husband's voice saying "you're being ridiculous" here) (followed by my Uncle Paul: "Suck it up and go, kid.") (aaaand, finally, my own self: "You're losing it. No wonder you feel like no one wants to be around you right now. Snap out of it and get it-the-frip-together.")
Ah, the sweet strains of compassion and understanding. :(
Why am I having such an identity crisis, you ask?
How in the 'demon's lair' should I know?
Don't you think I would've snapped out of it by now if I could figure out why?
I think I've decided, as I've pondered my craziness this week, that all moms must have the same crisis on a pretty regular basis. Most of us just don't tell anyone, or maybe we don't even realize what is causing our absolute inability to be normal human beings.
Life is flippin' crazy. There's no other way to say it that is publicly-shared-blog-post appropriate.
You think I'm exaggerating?
I went to brush my teeth yesterday and found that an entire family of sugar ants were dining on my toothbrush. Why? Because my 4-year-old had brushed his teeth with my toothbrush and hadn't rinsed it when he was done.
An entire roll of toilet paper was deposited into the toilet. So, like anyone in their right mind would do, I broke it into flushable sized wads and flushed it down the toilet one section at a time. No, I was not wearing gloves while doing this.
One of my children didn't finish their sandwich and I threw the leftover half away while I was cleaning up...and then the child came back, found the half in the trash can, and finished it. I'm dead serious.
During a particularly sweet goodnight kiss, one of my children deposited a huge, hard, pea sized booger on my cheek. I didn't even know it until the next child came to kiss me and pointed it out with a horrified look on his face.
The milk went bad this week. Twice. Neither time was it actually past its expiration, which means the only way I knew it was bad is that I used it for feeding my children breakfast...I won't tell you the inevitable stomach issues that followed, but let's just say I'm going to be checking the milk from now on, that's for dang sure.
My daughter, the official laundry folder in our house, put a pair of my husband's jeans in my pile. Yes, this may seem like a slightly less traumatic incident than the booger on the cheek...but I cannot express to you the depths of my depression this mistake has caused.
Thirty seconds ago my son, in an act of anger toward his brothers, created a water trail down the hall...with his own saliva. Spit, step, spit, step, spit, step. What the crap? How did this hurt his brothers, you ask? I don't know, and neither did he when I interrogated him. Luckily he had just finished a tootsie roll, so the saliva was filled with stickiness. (insert dripping sarcasm here.)
You see? I am having an identity crisis because most of the time it seems as if I have no identity other than mother, house-keeper, chef, referee, jailer, and booger depository.
That isn't exactly the person I thought I would be when I grew up...
This morning I was brooding over a cup of coffee, cataloging the tragedy that seems to follow me around through my days, taking stock of my current state of crisis...and I wasn't getting any less crazy or having any major epiphanies as I sat there.
And then one little blond kid made their way down the hall, sleepy eyed, scratchy voiced, dashed into the bathroom for a moment, and then shuffled over to where I was deep in thought.
"Good morning, Mommy. I love you." And there was a booger-free kiss deposited on my cheek, and a few moments of snuggling, and all at once my crisis vanished.
Because I saw myself through those heavy-lidded eyes.
Eyes that don't even notice the house-cleaning (or lack thereof) or the food preparing (or lack thereof) or the disciplining (or lack thereof) or any of my many moments of less-than-ideal-or-acceptable mothering.
In my children's eyes, there is only the sum total of the parts, not the parts themselves.
I am their mommy, and they love me.
Somehow, despite all the odds, they feel safe and loved and confident enough to curl up beside me and initiate an "I love you" and a kiss.
Because they know who I am.
Even when I don't.
Thank you, Lord, for sweet, simple, perfect reminders. Thank you for grace unending, mercy unfailing, love unshaken, joy unspeakable, peace unwavering.
And thank you, most of all, that this morning's sweet, simple reminder was not accompanied by a booger.