Sunday, August 22, 2010

Hurts So Good

We had a relaxed, quiet Sunday--my favorite kind. Phill put a roast in the crock-pot early in the day, and by 3:00 the delicious fragrance was wafting through the house. We all lounged on the couches, alternately napping, cuddling, and watching movies.

When dinner rolled around, Phill set the food on the table and I followed with dishes. We sat down and immediately the kids began their familiar chorus: "This looks weird." "But I don't like beef." "What are those black spots?" "Can I eat just three bites?" I could feel the annoyance rising within me and fought to keep it under wraps. I remembered something my beautiful cousin posted a few days ago--something from another someone who was definitely inspired. I kept my voice level as I answered with the same calm answer, numerous times: "This is dinner. If you don't eat it, you'll be hungry." I decided to actually spoon-feed Jaxon to get him to try his food--"Oh! Actually I like beef." and convincing Reed to have a few more bites of potatoes before he had more mandarin oranges.

Gradually their protests died. They weren't wolfing down the food, but they were eating, and their voices weren't raised in a dissonant chorus anymore. I realized my extra effort to be patient with them had produced a new environment.

Though they were still loud, the sounds became happy. Then they tried to talk to me all at once, and I found myself surrounded by their joyful voices, all trying to get me to listen to them....and suddenly something that is so often hard for me to handle became music to my ears. I looked at their faces and laughed with them, relishing the fact that they want to talk to me, they want my attention, they love me....and then that love--which is always there but sometimes obscured by all the daily detritus--that love just bowled me over and I wasn't just laughing, but crying, too. How blessed am I? And who am I, to be so blessed? What on earth did I do to deserve such abject joy? It bowls me over at times, so much so that I can hardly stand it, and I understand the phrase, "I love you so much it hurts." Moments like these are the ones I file away for reference in those times when the feeling doesn't come so readily. Moments like these make the difficult times worthwhile.

7 comments:

Shayanne Snodgress said...

I love this post. My favorite so far. I know just how this is, I've had moments of my own that can relate and it is those moments that I cherish and love to think back on. It is those moments that make our existence and life make more sense. Thank you for sharing. Loved it!

Andrea said...

What a sweet post. I am constantly thinking how I need to be more patient with the kids. Things are so much better when I'm successful.

Lara said...

You have no idea how much I relate to this. I have made a MAJOR effort to stay calm and patient in these last couple months, and I have noticed such a difference in my home that I can't believe I never tried it before. I'm not perfect, and I still need to work hard daily to maintain it, but wow.

Thanks for sharing this, and your cousin's post, too. Loved them both.

Christine said...

So true that patience goes a long way with kids. I also love that feeling of being the one they're clamoring to talk to (or in my case, crawl all over).

Suzanne said...

I am still a work in progress when it comes to this. I love hearing that I am not the only one who has to remind myself to be calm. I loved this post,(and I am glad too that I am not the only one who cries when overwhelmed with joy :)

Kelly said...

Thank you for writing this post, I know it was somehow directed towards me. I have always wanted the picture-perfect family gathered around the dinner table, laughing, smiling, and talking (with indoor voices)--but that never happens!!!
:)

Qait said...

I understand this! I got teary feeling the same feelings you described. Sounds like a beautiful Sunday.