It’s 8:30AM on a school day and I feel like I just ran a marathon. Why, you ask? Because we are going on week 2 of school and not everyone wants to get out of bed like Marie does. I can put a One Direction film on TV and she will wake up very quickly. However, my other three children will fight me to the death to stay in bed a little bit longer. I know they all like school in one way or another, but they don’t like getting up in the morning.
So this morning, like every school morning, I get up around 6:00AM and start preparing for the morning wake ups. I may or may not need to nudge Frank out of bed to get to work. I eat breakfast, lay out uniforms, take my medication, finish the lunch bags and gather shoes for the kids to wear. All the while, I am stopping by their beds to greet them with a sweet good morning. My kids look so angelic when they are sleeping. Maybe because their mouths are not crying out, “Mom!” when they are sleeping.
I will succeed in getting Marie up and get her to eat some sort of breakfast as she gets dressed and sings to One Direction. By the time Marie is dressed, she will be asking if we can go yet. But we can’t get in the classrooms until 7:40AM. So I have the same conversation with her every morning that we can’t go until 7:40AM. Then I coax, plead, beg, bribe, threaten and scream for the other three to get up.
With Christopher, I just need to joke with him a bit and threaten to eat his breakfast and then he will arise. With Ann, I have to rub her leg, put her blanket back on, get her any variety of food items and she will finally wake up. With Patrick, I am patting his arm, pulling off his blanket, turning on the TV, turning on the lights, getting him food, pulling off his blanket again, turning off his light, turning off his TV, yelling at him and then finally screaming at him that he will be walking to school if he doesn’t get dressed.
Have you figured out who is the difficult one to get out of bed yet? Yep, Patrick. Once they are all awake and speaking (ok, yelling) I will hear a variety of complaints, accusations, threats, and bickering from any or all the kids. This is our morning ritual. This is the way my kids greet the day. For the most part, tensions have not been as bad as in the past. But there is always something they find to complain about. “My feet hurt.”, “I’m tired” and “I don’t want that” are the normal cries that I hear.
Since Marie has been up the longest, she will normally be in a better mood than the others, so she will try to help out with questions like, “Christopher, are you excited to see your teachers?” This question will normally backfire, because Christopher is still tired and doesn’t want to think about going to school yet. Although she tries, I normally end up asking her to stop talking, because she is only feeding the fire with her questions.
We will eventually make it to school, however, I might have to make a second trip back. Like this morning, Ann forgot her sweater, so I had to run back home to get it for her. It’s suppose to be 90-some degrees today and the girl gets chilly in class. Whatever! So by the time 8:30AM rolls around, I am sitting at home…exhausted. This particular day, I was also stressed and frustrated with my kids. Then I sit down to read my daily scripture and this is what the gospel says:
Gospel MT 18:1-5, 10, 12-14
“Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven?”
He called a child over, placed it in their midst, and said,
“Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children,
you will not enter the Kingdom of heaven.
Whoever becomes humble like this child
is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.
And whoever receives one child such as this in my name
receives me. “See that you do not despise one of these little ones,
for I say to you that their angels in heaven
always look upon the face of my heavenly Father.
What is your opinion?
If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray,
will he not leave the ninety-nine in the hills
and go in search of the stray?
And if he finds it, amen, I say to you, he rejoices more over it
than over the ninety-nine that did not stray.
In just the same way, it is not the will of your heavenly Father
that one of these little ones be lost.”
Whoa! Nothing like getting blindsided by God’s word.
“See that you do not despise one of these little ones”
Okay, I don’t despise my children, however, I didn’t have a warm and fuzzy feeling about them at the moment I read that. That’s when I say aloud, “Okay, God. I’ll overlook the struggles to be the best mom I can be.” Because I know that although my children can be the biggest pains in the neck possible, they are the most precious and valuable gift that I will ever receive. Each and every one of them are a gift from God and I often wonder why I was blessed with all four of them when others are not allowed to even have one.