For Mother's Day S. and the kids hopped on the riding lawnmower and trekked through the neighborhood to find a rototiller. About 10 conversations, 3 petted dogs, and countless stops later they found one. They all proudly participated in getting my garden ready for seeds. (Complete with scarecrow. Darla and Hudson were determined to make a scarecrow the topper.)
That was a few weeks ago and weeds have already started to pop up. Everything in me wants to be frustrated that I haven't put those seeds in yet. It's a reminder that I have been forced this year to let go of all sorts of expectations (insert deep, calming breath here).
Cleaning day is the weekly, non-negotiable in our house. Nothing makes me feel refreshed like the smell of pine sol, vacuum lines in the carpet, and knowing that all the corners have been treated with pledge. This week it got pushed off a couple days because we've had a full week. I've had some battles emotionally that manifested physically. By Tuesday night I was thoroughly exhausted and looking forward to early bedtime. Instead of restful sleep I started having spasms in my shoulder and couldn't get comfortable. Then I started thinking...and over-thinking...why even bother laying in bed? A couple late night TV shows and two bowls of cereal later I knew my Wednesday would be shot.
I woke up Wednesday knowing that some of my expectations would have to be let go. Moving in slow motion, I mentioned to the kids we were running a little behind in our to-dos because I was tired and not feeling great.
When I came out of the bathroom from getting Everett ready I looked out the window to see my hard-working Hudson in the rain with the rake and a determined face. He was raking the weeds out of my garden for me. I fought back tears and marveled out loud. Darla saw how moved I was and immediately ran back to the bedroom to make my bed for me.
She came out crying. "Dad already made the bed! What am I supposed to do to bless you!?"
Soon enough S. suggested she clear and wipe down the table. She did.
When Hudson came in, wet and proud, I told the kids how much it meant to me that they would see me having a hard time and then think of ways to serve me.
Darla ambitiously said, "Mom, we'll clean the WHOLE house today. You can do whatever you want."
Hudson said, "Yeah, Mom. You just sit and watch the garden. We'll clean the house."
Sure enough, I came in the kitchen a short while later to see that they were both on hands and knees with washcloths and water wiping down the floor. There were crumbs pushed around and huge puddles of water (not to mention how wet they managed to get themselves). I didn't care that it somehow looked worse after they were done. I told S., "I will not be wiping the floors down this week because the kids worked so hard, I can't bear to undo any of it."
Yes, this week I had to let go of some of my expectations. Simultaneously other expectations have been surpassed. My husband modeled to my kids only a few weeks ago how fun it is to "bless Mom" and work hard at something before I see that it needs doing. Instead of lamenting at a not-quite-clean-to-my-standards house, I am celebrating that I have kids who love to bless me and a husband who teaches them what that looks like.