I’d like to compare my life to Felix Baumgartner. This week, he broke records when he jumped out of a tiny space capsule, 23 miles from earth. They say he’s a daredevil. I think every mom is a daredevil. Who wouldn’t be labeled brave, who birthed a child? No women I know. As we launch out into the stratosphere of our day, life seems pretty mundane. Just another liftoff. However, every day we are breaking the speed of sound as we leap out of our capsules and venture at hair-raising speeds into what we affectionately call “life”. Sometimes it feels like our bodies are spinning so fast our head hurts and our stomach ties into a knot.
For me I feel the most free-fall around lunchtime. We recess from school and I’m faced with seven hungry bellies, mine included! Today I cracked a dozen eggs, made three loaves of banana bread and some tater tots. I had just dished up my own plate of yummy broccoli-laden eggs with tater tots on the side, when Betty hit the last leg of her morning journey. I scooped up her crying little self to find her jeans soaked. She also smelled poopy. A thorough search confirmed that yes, we are indeed out of wipes. Up to the bathroom we went, where I stripped her and washed her in the tub. She loves baths, and I love the way she says “bath” with a very strong emphasis on the “th”, said with as much force as possible. Her tongue sticks out and she sprays saliva from her mouth when she says it: “ba- tthhhhhhbbbbbbtttthhh.” Anyway, into the batthhhhbbbbtttthhh she went and came out smelling beautiful. Into clean clothes she was dressed, and then into her beloved bed she lay. Her pink bunny snuggled up with her and she happily hit dreamland. At last I came to the table, where everyone had long ago finished eating their lunch. I warmed up my food and sat down to accept the nourishment provided.
Another scenario of a meal happened yesterday while I chatted on the phone with my sister. I made a triple batch of pancakes while five little mouths inhaled them. It’s almost like watching a cartoon, where the character shoves something into its mouth and it disappears. Thirty-six or more pancakes down the hatch.
During quiet hour today, Elsie kept wanting to surprise me, so she cleaned off the table (which meant moving everything to another location and wiping it down with a nice wet rag). Then she similarly tidied the living room, removing, moving, and “doing her best!” It was really sweet. After quiet hour, Jack came down with his almost-always-present notebook to show me what he drew. On top of his artwork he wrote something on his own for the first time, sounding out the words. It said, “Jack is a arsts.” (Jack is an artist.) He’s been working so hard on de-coding sounds back into letters and I just about hit the moon when he showed me. It’s taken him awhile to get this far, but now the lightbulbs are going off in his brain, and it’s so exciting to watch!
About this time, after cleaning up from the morning’s ride, another curve lies dead ahead. Time to start supper! While doing this, I’m also doing laundry, which has been a humorous undertaking the past couple days. Something happened to the washing machine so that it washes and washes and washes without moving on to the next cycle. I smelled something hot the other day, but completely tuned out to the fact that a load of laundry had been washing away in the machine for over an hour. When it finally dawned on me that the smell was coming from the washing machine, I noticed how the dial hadn’t moved a millimeter. Since then I’ve been setting timers to remind myself to manually change it to the next cycle, so it doesn’t spin into orbit!
So now my quiet is over, and it’s almost time to pull out my parachute so I can gently finish yet another day. Unlike Baumgartner, the whole world isn’t watching. But like Felix, I kneel at the end of each mission and thank God for the courage to jump, and the grace to finish. I call it, Mission: Life Is Beautiful