You know you’re doing the parenting thing right when your twelve-year-old is looking at you with a combination of doubt and amusement. At least, that’s the way I figure it. So the other morning, my beloved dog woke me up at 4:30 as she paced back and forth down the halls and up and down the old wooden staircase of our house over and over. I finally convinced myself to give up on the tossing and turning bit and groggily ventured downstairs and to my fuel, ahem, coffee maker at 5:58. As I was pressing start on my favorite kitchen appliance, the electricity went out. Noooooooooo!
The first five minutes of the power outage I was optimistic. I lit some candles, chatted with my ten-year-old, (who was so excited to be using her new flashlight in the dark), and I decided to start my Bible study. But all I could think about was that coffee. So when the power came on about forty minutes later and I had the first cup of deliciousness in my hand, I was dancing across my kitchen. Now, some people know that kitchen dancing is kind of my thing, but this morning I got lost in the moment. All I know is that I glanced up mid-one-woman-conga-line to see that look I mentioned a minute ago coming at me from my 12-year-old. I was singing the Conga beat, (da-da-da-da-da-da), coffee in hand, my favorite cozy robe on, dancing across the kitchen and in place of shouting “Con-ga! Con-ga!” I was singing, “Cof-fee! Cof-fee!” What can I say? I like my coffee.
A little while after my earlier than usual kitchen dance party, I had just finished my yoga and was at the sink, when I spotted a hawk on my neighbor’s fence. I got excited. I always do when I see hawks. I think they’re so cool I had to include them in my teen fantasy book series, HARMONY RUN. I showed my daughters, who both thought the bird of prey was neat, and enthusiastically alerted my husband. Meanwhile, the hawk flew to another tree. By the time Charles got to the window all he could see was, “something black.” Based off his description, I gathered he didn’t quite seem convinced his dream woman had seen a hawk. (Maybe her overactive imagination had gotten carried away again?) To be honest, I think he was only on his first cup of coffee, so maybe he wasn’t as alert as yours truly. Still, in my ongoing quest to prove to Charles I’m holding onto a bit of sanity, I tugged my boots on, grabbed my camera and a winter coat to go with my yoga pants, and headed out into 23-degree weather.
The hawk moved from branch to branch despite my stealth-like approach, (snow boots snapping every twig and crunching every leaf in my yard), but I kept praying that I could just get one picture to show that man. And voilà. I got one, and only one, picture. But thank you, Lord- that’s all I needed!
When I went back inside, my 12-year-old was laughing, the doubt still lingering on her beautiful face. She nodded towards my yoga Capri pants and shook her head. “Cold, Mom?” she asked. “Yes, but I got the evidence I needed for your dad,” I declared triumphantly. The girls were impressed with the photo. And Charles…well, he took one look at the photo and said, “Oh…wow!” surprise evident in his expression, and that made my dash into the cold worth every freezing moment.
I may be a coffee-chugging-one-woman-Conga-line, but I’m not seeing things. Well, not all of the time, anyway. 😉 Don’t forget to look out your window, friends. You never know what you may see. And the next time your morning cup of coffee brings a smile to your face, why not consider doing the kitchen Conga line? I promise I won’t judge. I’m too busy amusing my children.
Today, my daughter, (the oldest,) turned six-years-old. She looked in the mirror this morning and said, “I’m six! I’m new.”
Her comment played over and over in my mind throughout the day. I’m new. She was so excited.
I imagined looking in the mirror and excitement shooting through me. “I’m new.” But when I look in the mirror these days, I see a tired, overly caffeinated Mom trying to keep it together, hoping the mystery substance her four-year-old smeared on her shirt will come out with bleach. I see a frazzled, always on the go, must meet my deadline and conquer the world every single day woman, who checks her calendar two to three times a day to verify, again, which day of the week it is. I am anything but new…
After a small birthday party at her school, I feel slightly revitalized. (Hanging out with thirty boisterous kindergarteners will do that to you.) The rational part of my brain tells me to race home and get twenty-five minutes of work time in before I have to pick up my preschooler. But suddenly that desire to feel new has me turning the car in a different direction, and I know where I have to go.
I dig eight quarters out of three different coin purses stashed around my car. (I’m so organized.) I pay the parking meter and walk out onto the beach. I kick off my shoes and hope the trio of tipsy tourists won’t bother them, (they are well into something and clearly celebrating a birthday.) I take a nice fifteen minute stroll down the beach and think about this day six years ago. The day my life changed so drastically. The day I had a new baby, (who I had no idea what to do with…Seriously, I had never even changed a diaper.)
On my way back to my car, I veer from the path and follow a trail of wildflowers into the woods. Wildflowers of varying colors dot the landscape, and I try to capture a few photos. I love the bright colors. Before long, I am walking back to my car, and a happy sigh escapes me. I am completely relaxed. An interlude with some wildflowers and getting my feet in the sand has me feeling renewed. I may not be new, like my six-year-old, but I’ll take renewed for now. There may be hope for this frazzled woman yet. I guess we will see…