As the Family Goes

JP II Quote

"As the family goes, so goes the nation, and so goes the whole world in which we live." John Paul II

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Sometimes Life can be Crappy

Our fifth son Aaron is absolute perfection at two months old.  He is always happy, rarely cries, and even when he is fussy is soothed simply by our presence.  He eats every few hours through the day, sleeps through the night, and is a generally content little baby.  I marvel at him every day.

Yesterday I took the big boys and Aaron to the museum.  And as I sat with my perfect little baby while the big boys did a craft with an employee in the discovery area, my little darling started to fill his diaper.  The worker, a young guy, was busy instructing the kids on what to do, and I smiled sweetly at my baby hoping the sounds he was making were not too obvious.  Then I felt something warm on my hand - it was coming out of the side of his diaper!  Trying to be inconspicuous for the sake of the instructor (you never know with guys whether they are cool with babies, or if that would have completely grossed him out!) I turned Aaron the other way so he couldn't see what had just happened, managed to find a small piece of paper towel to clean out the little that had come out, and waiting for the kids to finish their work.  After which I promptly scurried them down to the washrooms so I could change my little stinker.  When I put him down onto the changing table, I noticed a wet spot on my shirt where I had been holding him.  And that's when I realized - my little one had an explosion out of his bum!  What a mess!  But he smiled sweetly, I joked with him as I cleaned him up, and it was all good.  What else can you do?

As funny as it is, it's pretty true that life, as with babies, can be pretty crappy sometimes.  I wish I could handle all of life's messes with as much grace as I handle the baby, but the truth is I have a lot of work to do.  It's crazy how quickly I go from calm to despair at the slightest sign trouble.  Like two children throwing a tantrum while my supper boils over.  Or someone falling off the top bunk while I'm nursing the baby.  Or a toddler who just needs to be in my arms while I have to vaccuum three days of crunched up snacks on the floor.  Those are the times when I lose my cool - when I find myself thinking, "why does everything go wrong all at once?"

It's easy to keep things in perspective when the cause of your upheaval is a sweet little two-month-old who is practically perfect in every way (okay, except maybe one!)  What takes work is remembering that the older kids are also just as sweet and innocent as the baby, and that the chaos is no more their fault than it is the baby's, it's just part of life.  And there is something incredible that is gained from maintaining composure and handling these situations with grace.  You live life and experience it, instead of allowing it to consume you.  You get through the tough times with joy, with the people you love supporting you through it.  And who knows, you might even be able to laugh at it together, this crazy life that you are all so privileged to share.  That way beats blowing your top, sending the kids to their rooms, and grumbling under your breath.

Lord, help me to see all of my children in the same in the same way I see the baby - to marvel in joy, be positive in difficulty, and clean up life's little (and not so little) messes together.  May I never allow despair to rob me of the beauty in every situation that comes our way.

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