As tears streamed down my face, I was out of solutions - out of hope. Prior to pulling into the drive of school I tried to pull it together.
"You're late Mom."
"I know bud, I'm sorry."
I turn to him and he catches my eyes.
"Why are you crying?" he asks.
"Well...it was a rough day at work."
As we drove, I tried so hard to turn my attention to hearing the stories of their day - the struggles they had. Cybie had a really hard time with a "dare" that was being asked of her. She felt embarrassed to tell about it. I validated her, expressed my support and encouraged her.
When we got home I had to make an important work call so I remained in the car. The kids were prompted with a show and the Wii. I proceeded with my call. An hour later I come in the house - still feeling defeated - exhausted. I have no idea what I will do for dinner. An earlier conversation with a coworker reminded me of the simple pleasure of cereal. A simple everyday food item in many homes, but for us, it's a luxury. We do not often indulge in the sugary kinds. I texted Ben, "hey on your way home can you grab cereal for dinner tonight?" He was shocked. He called to clarify and ask what kind. "Any sugary kinds you see that are good. All the fun ones." He thought I had gone mad.
I offered the kids a sprite - a whole one for each (I never do that). I cracked a beer, made a platter of carrots, cheese, raddish and olives...sat down next to them and enjoyed. Ben walks in, arms full to the top of his head. Every sugary kind he could hold. "Dinner is here!" I shout. The kids nearly exploded with excitement. They poured at their hearts content. It was a very happy moment together. "This is like the best day ever!" someone shouted. It prompted me to ask the question.
"That's a great idea, lets go around and share what the 'best day ever' would look like to you, and why.
"Ooh I'll go first," Liam jumps at the opportunity. "The birth of my first child."
"Whoa bud, thats deep."
Ben supported this thought, "I can agree Liam, it was the best day ever when you were born!" We smiled.
Everett shares "To be Jesus or God."
Ben and I look at each other, then to Everett, "Wow Ev, that's really profound.
A moment of silence.
Adelle chimes in, "the day I get a phone and a horse." We all laughed at how accurate that was for her.
Last but not least, Cybie responds, "I'd like a horse, and my ears pierced, and to be a doctor ...a veterinarian, and a hairstylist and fashion...oh and..." It went on for a while.
Then Everett begins to share what he's learning in school. "Do you know that when Judas betrayed Jesus, two days later men came for him...they tied his wrists with a rope, not with handcuffs, but with a rope. The tighter they tied it meant the worse the sin. They tied them so tight that Jesus' blood started dripping down."
Ben responds " Dang Everett, of all the times I've heard this story, I've never quite heard it like that - you just brought to life something I've heard all my life through church. That was powerful."
Then Cybil asks "Can I pray?
"Oh absolutely, thank you!" I respond.
We all get quiet. "
"Dear Jesus, thank you for Jesus and the cross. . ." She proceeded with the sweetest prayer. Suddenly I found myself one in Spirit with my sweet little family. All that mattered was this precious moment. Tears started streaming down my face. "Amen," she finished. "Amen," we all say.
It is really hard to transition from a day of work to focus on family. Especially today. I didn't think I'd be able to do it. Somehow I allowed myself to not be ok, and to provide an opportunity to enjoy the moment anyway. For us it was beer, pop and cereal for the win, which followed by all of us piling in my bed for a moment of "The Croods" (if you don't know what that is look it up on Netflix. 😁)
I cannot change what happened today, and it may go without being resolved. I guess the silver lining in this is had I not been in a place of defeat, I wouldn't have had to let go, to find peace and joy in the moment. For that, I am grateful.
"Jesus, forgive me for not going to you first to fight my battles. Thank you for using my children to bring me back to you. I pray for strength, peace and wisdom as I navigate these challenges. May you go before me. May you guide me with when to speak, when to stand up, when to stay down and what needs to happen in order to move forward. Amen."