Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I've been praying a lot for patience.

I can tell you, without a doubt, I am a better parent when I attend Mass regularly. Because that's when I sit and ask God for the ability to recognize my awesome charge, and to not screw it up too much.

My children are generally a delight. They are the kind of children you wouldn't mind if I brought over to your house. Because THERE ARE children that you would mind coming over to your house.

My girls tend to use manners and help clean up (even if that requires multiple requests) and aren't troublemakers. (Okay, my 4-year old has been known to start a controversy, but still, that's fairly rare.)

It's when I have them, alone, that's the issue. More often than not, they do not get along. More often than not, they end up fighting over things that make me scratch my head. This morning, at breakfast, it was because Lillian was teasing Hannah about not liking blackberries.

And I was like, you've got to be kidding. All these tears over blackberries?

And I try to be calm and think back to when I was younger, and I know somewhere along the way I got angry or irritated over something not worth a second of my time.

But then I get all like, oh my Lord, we're talking fruit, here. Is this really a punishable offense?

Life. Life. Life. Those kids drive me crazy, and make me crazy with love.

At night I've been falling asleep before asking for forgiveness. I do, however, get in the heartfelt request for patience and a list of things I've been thankful for.

The other day, it was thanks for the sight of my girls swinging. Lily can pump her legs now, allowing me the unique position to observe them both. Their long hair blows with their movement. Suddenly, they're all legs and smiles. Last night, I gave thanks for the grace that found me in my kitchen, stunned with Hannah's sudden maturity. I was setting up a picnic for them with a neighbor's granddaughter in our backyard. I suggested we use a plaid flannel sheet used for camping. "I'll get it Hannah," I said. "It's in the basement."

"Don't worry, Mom. I'll can get it." And before I knew it, she was bounding down the basement stairs, and back up again, emerging with the sheet, only to run back outside again. So many things she can get on her own now. It is both exhilarating and heartbreaking.

Tonight I'll give thanks for Lillian coming downstairs this morning, still sleepy in her pajamas, but wearing sunglasses. It was a random thing, and it made me smile.

They drive me crazy, and I ask for calm. They make me crazy with love. So many things to be grateful for. So many things to thank God for.