Wednesday, May 14, 2014

She Likes to Clean

By the time you have an 8-year-old and a 5-year-old, you've had plenty of opportunities to be humbled by the annual Mother's Day Questionnaire. There was that time when Jackson was in Kindergarten when he wrote that his favorite thing about me was "my body." More recently, my children have answered the "My mom likes to ______" question with "lay on the couch" and "take a nap." 

No comment.

Right before Mother's Day I took Annabeth to school and she was very excited to show me a new piece of work that was hanging in the hallway outside her class. Mercifully, this year's questionnaires did not have the children's names on them, perhaps in order to protect the innocent - or the guilty. I would've known which one was hers because she always draws her self-portraits with a bow. This time she gave both of us a heart-shaped bow. She's so wonderful. 

I braced myself. 

I read the fateful question: What is your mom's favorite thing to do? 

Eek! Here it comes!

She likes to clean the kitchen. 

Ladies and gentlemen, this is redemption. That's right. My daughter thinks I love domesticity. She might even think I excel at it. Both are untrue, but it doesn't matter because my daughter honored me, however anonymously, for all eyes to see. Muahahaha! 

On the Friday before Mother's Day, Mom, Melissa and I got to attend a "Muffins with Mom" type of event with Annabeth in her class. 

We had a sweet time with our little darlin'. 

There was yet another questionnaire - this time laminated to preserve the answers for years to come. Will my redemption continue? 

Well, it was a mixed bag. Annabeth thinks I'm really good at cleaning (yay, cleanliness!), but the best thing I cook is sandwiches. Bahahaha! Oh my gosh, I love my child so much. I feel the scale was tipped toward a win for me though. 

There wasn't as much laughing going on by the time Saturday came. I was feeling pretty melancholy about Mother's Day. There's so much pressure to be happy and shiny on that day, and I couldn't stop thinking about how much pain my mama heart has felt this year. We had a second failed adoption placement the week after Easter and, honestly, I just felt sorry for myself. 

Curtis had some pastoral ministry to do on Saturday, so I reached out to my mom and asked if we could come out to her property and get gritty and messy. I was feeling gritty and messy on the inside, so I couldn't think of anything better. 

We started with an experimental bike ride. I didn't know if the kids would be able to ride their bikes successfully on the trails but they did great. A few places were hard for Annabeth, but I think this is something we could do again. 

After we were good and hot (it was like 90% humidity that day) we took the golf cart down to the creek and played in the sand. We named this spot Bibby's Beach. 

Please just call me Nature Mom, y'all. No longer Napping Mom, but Domestic-Nature-Sandwich Mom. 

To my delight, I received my very first coupon book from Jackson on Sunday morning. He made it at school. Included in my many coupon options are a back rub, a foot rub, cuddle time, cereal in bed, and the gems pictured below. My child's handwriting struggles, so I'll help you out: "90 min of TV time" and "No food for 100 min." I died.

Jackson explained that these two are actually for him. If I need some peace and quiet, I can make him watch TV for 90 minutes. If he's driving me crazy by asking for food non-stop, I can make him fast for 100 minutes. I will never get over the split second I thought I needed my child's permission to watch TV or to diet. 

Ultimately, I had a good Mother's Day. God gave me the grace to smile and be happy and have so much gratitude for the son and daughter that have been entrusted to me. I've been advised to stop trying to figure out what everything means or understand why and what God is doing. One day I will know. For now, I have to move forward with these two turkeys and that awesome man of mine. 


Kristen Thornburg said...

That little creek is perfect! I am sorry your heart was hurting. I absolutely cracked up at your comments on mommy questionnaire redemption!! Ha ha, classic!

Shelly said...

Sweetness in those pictures. That's all I can think of - how much love is captured in those frames. Praying it spills over into your heart's hidden places on those inevitable days of messy and gritty.

Tara G. said...

You are a fantastic mom, Amanda, and you have been so faithful with those entrusted to you which encourages many! Thanks for sharing your keepsakes and just think what next year could hold! :)

Our eight year old recently remarked that my husband and I only kiss once a week. His 5 year old sister corrected him- it's twice a day. :) Not sure why that came up, but it made me laugh and makes me smile every time.

GammySel said...

Mother's Day is hard for me --ugh because mothering never ends and on the day your are to be "honored" I feel like I "deserve" a break. I would like a chance to not have to worry about what is for lunch or the opportunity to put my feet up and just read what I want etc... but I had to refocus and remember that I am truly blessed to do what I am doing and have the blessings that I have. Even if there is NO rest for the weary...

Angie Sellerws

Unknown said...

Thinking too much was one of my big deals as a young mother. Looking back, I see my thirties as my hardest decade. Take heart and try to take that sage advice. You are right where you are supposed to be just for today.

I love the precious questionnaires and coupon book you received for Mothers Day. In 20 years, they will have you laughing and bawling at the same time. God, family, and love are the best gifts ever! xoxo

bethany said...

I am so sorry about the second adoption attempt. What a heartache-I can't even imagine. But it's true that you have your two littles and what a joy they are!! I know what you mean though about not exactly understanding what the Lord wants for your family-that's where I am right now as well.

Nice job on the cleaning comments! Storey wrote in her mother's day paper that I am 40 years old and that I like to "stare at the wall." AWESOME.

This Is The Day said...

I love how open and real you are about motherhood. I was feeling guilty this mother's day about not feeling all sunshine and rainbows. My almost two year old is in the destruction phase and between her and her two sisters I'm and exhausted and hanging on by my fingernails come bedtime each day. I need to take a cue from you and allow myself to feel gritty and messy and not have to be the picture perfect family all the time.

Anonymous said...


Sidenote: mention of good sandwiches makes me think of Joey Tribbiani singing "Love is an Open Door"... and then not letting Anna finish his sandwich. Such is the present state of my mind.

Marissa Burt said...

ha! Those kindergarten questionnaires kill me every year.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry for the heartbreak you all are living with. It looks like your kids your kids did great by your for Mom's day. My 5 year old brought home his mom questionnaire and he said I was 40 (not true) and his favorite thing I do is to give me hugs and kisses (TRUE)! It was sweet! hugs to you all!

Joe, Ash, G, J, and A said...

Yesterday we got our first "questionnaire". It started with "Mommy knows how to COOK DINNER". Good, fine. And then moved on to "Mommy always says LET'S GO TO THE MALL." (I never say that, he says that, because during the winter we play at the indoor playground and eat at CFA) Anyway, the teacher brought it up in front of the entire class and parents! So wrong!! I'm trying to tell myself that it doesn't matter that the other parents think I'm constantly dragging my kids to the mall for shopping...but ughhhh.

Dionna said...

Those last pictures with your kids are so perfect. The love of a mother - so wonderfully shown. (I'm so sorry for the continued heartache regarding adoption. May God give you a ray of light for your heart soon.)

Kristi said...

I am so glad you are back to blogging.Let me reach out and give you a cyber-hug for the heartbreaking adoption journey. Been there. And it hurts. We never had an affirmed answer from Above on why certain situations didn't work out, but in hindsight, I believe that we were to be praying over those babies. And they are still brought to my mind somedays (10 years over)--not with heartache, but with Mama love and I PRAY. So many things are swirling in my head/heart right now...and not sure what else to add. Just know that someone out there understands the feelings of your heart. And can tell you that God does make it better. We did finally adopt. And it's AMAZING.His MIGHTY handiwork is awe-inspiring. It doesn't mean the previous situations were also not God-ordained, because I believe they were. For me, it is a testament that His mercies truly are new every morning. Sending up mom prayers for you today! And for those precious little ones that were in your path this year! May God bless them and keep them close.

Ganise C said...

PERFECTION. Your honest and beautiful heart shines through this, Amanda. It made me laugh and it reached out and gripped me. God bless you. I wholeheartedly believe that He will carry you and yours through the painful season. Praying for you.