Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Lessons From Preschoolers

This morning we had a new friend coming over.  And I wasn't prepared, to say the least.

Last night I was too tired to clean.  Or, better said, I was tired of cleaning.  Alex fell asleep at 8pm because he was tired, obviously.  Apparently clergy people are really tired these days.  Just read this article from the New York Times, click here.  It says, Members of the clergy now suffer from obesity, hypertension and depression at rates higher than most Americans. In the last decade, their use of antidepressants has risen, while their life expectancy has fallen. Many would change jobs if they could. (Paul Vitello, NYT, Aug 1, 2010)  Yikes!  Alex, please get the rest that you need.

And, on top of that, 19 Kids and Counting was on.  I couldn't miss a minute of sweet Michelle Duggar's cute high pitched voice.  And Jim Bob's humor.  And that little baby Josie.

I sit and sit and marvel at that show.  How does she do it?  It seems so ideal.  Could I ever be that capable/loving/nice/patient?  Probably not.

So back to this new friend coming over. . . I woke up in a complete fog.  Cordelia decided to fight sleep at 3am.  She fought it until 3:30 until sleep won.  So I returned to bed, relieved that she did it with minimal help from me, and I stared at the ceiling for who knows how long.  I'm tired.

This morning, I came down stairs and started picking up.  I do breakfast.  Clean that up.  Decide I need to serve a snack to our new friend, so I start to whip up some muffins.  Until I hear, "I WANT TO HELP!"

NO!  NO, you CANT help.  You take FOREVER, I thought.

Ugh.  Okay, come help.  I let her help and the process took about 45 minutes as she filled each muffin cup full of batter.  My (oh so holy) thought process went like this: "Ugh...this is terrible...I'll never get these done in time...oh please don't spill that on the counter...the oven's been ready for 15 minutes and now we're wasting energy...I have to brush my teeth, change my clothes, clean up some toys...can't you just hurry up!?!"

Eloise's process went like this: "Cool Mom!  Look at the sticky stuff coming off the spoon.  Feels funny. Tastes good.   This one is done.  Next.  Can I lick the spoon?  PLEASE!?!  This is awesome.  I like helping.  I like spending time with just you."

And because I know you love to help and that it's a wonderful trait to encourage and that spending all this time with you is precious, I will slow down, take a deep breath, and enjoy it too.  Because in just a few years, you will be doing it all by yourself.

I will cherish this now.

Thanks for reminding me to be patient, Eloise, and enjoy what I have right now.  You are such a wise (and enthusiastic) teacher.  I love you.


Dorry said...

Aww - Em. Again you get me with your honesty. Love this post. I'm ALWAYS working on my patience. Some days are better than others. I bet the muffins were tasty. :)

Anonymous said...

SUCH a darling, honest post, Emily. You are such a great mother - because if you didn't have those thoughts from time to time, you wouldn't be human ;)

But what a wonderful thing that you were able to let Eloise in to what you were doing and to see the glorious joy of life in the eyes of a child who loves you :)

ps- ugh sad quotation about ministers... sounds like they need the gospel of GRACE! :)