6 years ago, I woke up at 5:15 every morning. I got dressed in business casual. I got in my car and made the 45 minute commute. I investigated claims, reviewed medical records, looked at pictures of auto accident fatalities, conversed with insureds, claimants, attorneys and engineers throughout the day. I took an hour break for lunch. I listened to whatever music I wanted to listen to on the drive home. I made dinner for 2, talked with my husband, watched some TV, and went to bed.
6 years later I wake up to a baby crying or “Momma, I wet the bed,” or “Momma, can I choose something to watch?” I roll out of bed and ask my 2 blondes and 1 ginger if they’re hungry. The youngest nods her head vigorously. The middle child wants goldfish and asks if she can eat dessert if she finishes her goldfish. I ask her if she’s kidding. She’s not.
I blink and it’s 10 am. We’re all in our PJs. I think, “I should go to the gym,” but then I see the redhead rubbing her eyes. “Oh yeah, that probably won’t work.” So I lay her down. My oldest asks if I can play Ninja Turtles. All I can think to say is, “Party dude!” and “Can we eat some pizza?” I think of all the things I should be doing, but he loves it, so I oblige him for a few minutes.
I finally get around to asking the middle child why there is a huge puddle of water under the kitchen table. I noticed it about 30 minutes ago, but I’m just now getting around to doing anything about it. “I peed on the floor,” she says in a matter of fact tone. I have no idea how there could be that much pee and why she would do it. We potty trained a year and a half ago.
A friend comes over for a play date. We sit down and drink coffee. We try to talk, but I’m not sure that we get in more than 2 sentences before there are continual interruptions.
“Yes, hopefully you can have an Elsa birthday.”
“We might be able to buy My Little Pony panties.”
“No you cannot have a cookie after breakfast tomorrow.”
“Please don’t interrupt while I’m talking.”
“I guess Ninja Turtles are kinda like superheros.”
“Someone smells stinky, who?”
Please stop interrupting.”
“You’re tummy is tired everyday, please go play.”
“Is it really important? Please stop interrupting.”
No wonder friendships aren’t the same now as when I was in college. We could sit in the dorm room or in a coffee shop talking about life for hours. Now I have little time to even think about life, let alone talk about it.
It’s time for lunch. I could have sworn I just fed them breakfast. The plates from breakfast are still on the table, so why get another plate dirty? I turn on the Children's Folk Songs station on Pandora. The kids ask to make their own lunches. I let them. Soon peanut butter is everywhere. I know my husband wouldn’t be able to stand the mess, but I smile at their peanut butter and Nutella faces. “We forgot to pray!” I yell. So with half eaten plates, we bow our heads and thank the King of all Kings for his daily graces. In my heart I thank him for my Ninja Turtle lover, my spunky Frozen princess, and the redhead. I smile at the chaos in front of me and think about Instagramming a picture of my kitchen. My life has changed a lot in less than 6 years. I think how in 6 more years this kitchen will probably be a lot cleaner and quieter but with no peanut butter and Nutella faces smiling back at me every single day at 11:30. And so I pause. I pause to give Him thanks.