Hard days

Today was a hard day. Not a hard day, like ones I’ve lived before, days that I woke up in the morning and asked God for more hours with one of my children before they left us forever. Those days are horrific. Today was just hard.

Today was one of those days when I feel like I made no progress. I grounded children and capitulated for the sake of quiet. I folded clothes, just to have the baskets upturned. I washed the dishes while a child poured rice on the floor. I argued, pleaded, put my foot down, won and lost.

One of those days when I look at my body, the bags under my eyes, my ponytail falling down and I wonder, “Who am I?” because the answer seems to be that I am just the answer. I am the answer to the injured child, the angry child, the hurting friend, whoever asks. I am the answer to the food and the clothes and the fears. I am the answer to who will teach these little ones to love. I am the answer and I just want to be invisible, sometimes. It’s hard to be so essential and so ignored at the same time.

One of those days that I had to continually ask for patience, for perspective, because rumor has it that the years are short. I take some comfort in knowing I might forget these, the not-great-but-not-terrible mundane days. I won’t remember, maybe, what it feels like to step on cold macaroni. Maybe I’ll forget almost crying over a mound of laundry, of all things.

Or maybe I won’t forget. Maybe I will just see clearly.

brick-wall

Maybe today was one of those days that is a building block. Maybe today, I am being built into someone strong, resilient and patient. I am learning, over and over again, to choose to love, and I am teaching by learning.

And I’m not the only one being built. Today is an unremarkable, but essential, brick in a wall of truth and consistency for my children. This hard day is another day that they were fed and taught and loved and seen. Some day we will look back at a solid wall, a strong wall built of ordinary days and occasionally, fantastic and awful days. “Look at what we built!” maybe we will marvel, even with the dings and the cracks.

My responsibility is to keep building, keep learning and loving and trying and failing, because what I’m building is much, much bigger than what I can see. Today was a hard day and I’m proud of it.

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