Oh yeah, today was a pray for patience kind of day. All three kids were either melting down, dragging each other into trouble or bickering with one another. All morning long.
After about three hours of constant bickering and crying, all I wanted to do when Emerson came up to me in tears (once more) was throw the silly toys away. I nearly did. But a voice inside me said, “this is important to him.” These two silly green blocks are very important to him and if you want him to come to you later with the really big things you need to pave the way now.
Alexandre had been up, feeding or crying, since 5:00 am. It was 11:00 am. That’s six hours of my attention going mostly to him. Peppered in those six hours are the needs of two other kids being haphazardly addressed.
An exhausted mommy replies, “of course” to Silas’ request to go on a treasure hunt. This involves running around the first floor of our house finding “treasures” he has hidden. (Oh, my goodness, I always thought I was creative and imaginative, but I do not hold a candle to these kids! They can pretend ALL DAY LONG. It is exhausting, especially when you have had a crying baby in your arms for hours.) Today’s treasure? A sticker of a treasure chest. Stuck to our wood floors. As pirates often say, “Argh!” And do you know what?!?! I do not care. They aren’t bickering. They aren’t crying. For the first time today. Now THAT is a treasure!
This mother of three thing is hard. You are “everything” to three humans. Some days (thankfully, not even close to all days) you are just completely exhausted. Physically. Emotionally. Spiritually. Yet, you MUST summon more. And you do. Somehow you do. Because one sleepy neuron in your brain is still firing. It tells you these things that seem so insignificant in the scheme of things (two green blocks and going on a treasure hunt or 100 of them) are huge to an almost 2- and 5-year old. Especially ones who have very recently and graciously welcomed a new little brother into their lives. That one neuron nudges you, whispering “you are building the foundation now for your future with these boys.”
I want them to come to me later. Right now, wooden blocks and treasure hunts are the big things. Later, it will be bigger things like difficulties in school, troubles with friends, hard decisions. Eventually, it will be really big things like peer pressure, drugs, mental health issues. They will have a much wider pool of people to choose from for help later on in life. If I am to have any hope they will seek my wisdom and guidance then, I must lay a solid foundation for being there for them NOW.
Eventually, all the little pieces will come together. My actions today build something in the future. -Much like building a tower or a train out of those silly little wooden blocks they have been fighting over all morning. I must remember that, as a mother, I am slowly building two things: Character within in each boy as well as a solid relationship with me. I could recklessly tell them the blocks are silly and unimportant or I can see the world from their eyes and recognize it is about so much more. Their need to create. Their need for space. Their need for recognition. Their need for love and attention. For me to show them that while Alexandre has needs their needs are still important to me as well. They will also learn how to be there for others, even when they are stressed and exhausted.
Yes, today, one whispering neuron reminded me how important it is to be a mother and just how lucky I am to be doing it to three young boys… Even on the hard days.
Now, if you will excuse me, it’s time to play astronauts. Apparently, the big red planet has a bouncey house only astronauts are allowed to use. I have just been informed our flight is about to take off!