Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Hurry Up and Wait


Hurry and wait I used to be a very go, go, go person. Inside I think I still am. I’m not sure my old self always knows that this is not how my new self’s life goes now. With four kids running around the house, life has sped up in some ways, and seriously slowed down in others.

Tending to their needs means whatever I’m doing at any given moment, like writing this blog . . . .

. . . sorry, kid fell off a toy and screamed.

Anyway, (sigh), it means my thoughts are constantly interrupted and I have to drop whatever I’m doing and come back to it. I’d like to say come back to it later, but later has a very different definition these days. It could be a week depending on how urgent it is, and how urgent whatever it is that takes me away from it is. In between the kids’ needs, my husband’s needs and letting go of the need to have everything in order, I find myself waiting, waiting, waiting, for what? Oh, right, for my thought(s) to come back. As soon as that happens however, another crisis needing my immediate attention is sure to occur. God forbid my children wait to steal each other’s bottles until I am sitting on the floor playing with them five minutes from now. No. They must do so when I am elbow deep in dishes or a poopy diaper.

Turning your brain on and off this way is perhaps a talent for some. But it is definitely a skill that moms need. I’m not one to let the dishes pile up or laundry sit. Maybe I should be. We have a regular routine, though I am not super strict with it, and I try to “get it all done” by day’s end. Maybe I try too hard, but I’m not sure I have a middle ground. How to reconcile this, how to reconcile this . . . wait, I know! Don’t. Do. Anything. Else. Ever.

Riiight. If I stop having any thoughts at all, I can sit around and wait forever for toy stealing, hitting, falling off couches, time outs and hair pulling to happen. I will have all the time in the world for that. But is it so wrong to sneak over to the computer for a few minutes at a time during the day and drain my thoughts quickly onto a page? At least if I can do that my head will be empty. That will leave room for the screaming to reverberate.

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