Saturday, July 23, 2011

Lessons From a Busted Watermelon

So, it seems as though I blog about the grocery store and events that surround it often. Would it make you think that was all I did? If you guessed yes, you are close. Very close.

And here I go again, blogging about the grocery store. But this time, there is a hidden meaning in it all that would have gone completely unnoticed had it not been for a busted watermelon and a random act of kindness from a complete stranger.

Now that it is all so clear, I find myself thinking of some lyrics from a Carly Simon song. Granted, this is not about a marriage as the song is…but about life in general. Especially these words, “Take a look around now, change the direction, adjust the tuning and try a new translation…” This blog is about taking a moment to stop. Realize the moment. No matter the circumstances or situation, live it. Take that bad attitude and throw it out the door, revel in the life that is happening that very instant.

So, where am I going here? It has been a rough few days here at the Norris house. Byron is on a super busy rotation at the hospital and I haven’t seen him (like really seen him) since Sunday morning. Granted, I was out of town from Sunday afternoon until Thursday…it is now Saturday, and I am under the same roof he is…when he is home. This basically means I have been with the kids all by self since Sunday. Now, I know that single mothers and army wives do this all the time and this is why I think they are brilliant. This is hard work. I reached the end of my rope this morning around 8 am and was sulking in the fact that I still had to do a large grocery trip and knew that Byron wouldn’t be home until around 5 pm at the earliest.

My little sweetness is having some issues. Teething maybe? Who knows, just generalized fussiness. Louisa is just Louisa, no need for explanation there. After traveling to the beach and back with both and then trying to get caught back up on housework and everything else involved, I had a moment this morning. Fueled by lack of sleep and lack of patience, I just cried. I felt so overwhelmed and in need of a break that I just couldn’t stand it. The problem lies in how I refuse to ask for help. And I don’t even accept it when offered, I guess it is a personality flaw…but it is what defines me. So, this was no one’s fault but mine. And I really, really try not to complain or fuss about any of it since I know that I am extremely lucky and blessed with everything I have. Both of my kids are healthy. I am healthy, Byron is healthy and while we do not have disposable income, there is food on the table every night. But still, I had a moment.

Then I go to Kroger. I tell Louisa upon entering the door that I would love quiet the entire trip since I didn’t have a list and wasn’t prepared. I had Nash (who hadn’t stopped fussing since about 6 am) in the baby carrier attached to the front of me. There were no real disasters in the store, but by the time I was finished and walking out to the car I was spent. Nash was screaming, Lou was melting and I was on the verge of tears again. Then it happened. I was loading all the groceries into the back of my car and as I turned to grab another bag, the watermelon I had just put in fell off the tailgate, onto the concrete and busted….ALL over me, my feet, etc. I couldn’t even find the energy to say a bad word. I just closed my eyes, took a moment and then tried to bend down and clean up the watermelon putting it in one of the grocery bags to put in the trash. About this time, a lady walked up to me. She grabbed me by the shoulders and just looked at me and smiled. At first I was nervous as this grocery store has a reputation of having car-jackings and purse-snatchings in the parking lot. But then, I realized she wasn’t here to hurt me. She had her son who looked to be about 10 or 11 come over to pick up the watermelon for me. Then, she had her daughter hand me her watermelon out of her buggy. And she said to me, “I know how you are feeling; I can see it in your face. Please remember…I would do anything to be in that stage of my life again with the small children. They grow too fast. Before you know it, they will be the size of mine. You cannot get this time back.” And with that, she gave me her watermelon, even though I protested. Once I got all the groceries loaded and kids into their seats and buckled, I teared up again. Blame it on hormones, fatigue, stress, whatever you want…but that woman was so right. And I thought back a few weeks ago to what Dean O’Conner preached on Sunday about the Grace of Jesus being anywhere, anytime and anyplace. While I don’t necessarily consider that lady to be the Grace of Jesus, I do consider her to be the Grace of Mothers. I needed that simple reminder that things really aren’t that bad. My kids are precious, and this time is precious. It is hard, yes…but this day will never again be. I will never again have this same opportunity to live this moment in time. Why spend it grumbling and rushing to get home and get everyone to bed? Now, this is SO much easier said than done. It is so easy to forget and get caught up in everyday life and not see these moments. It is too easy to gripe and complain and bark orders and yell. It isn’t easy slowing down and remembering to keep your patience. And it certainly isn’t easy to admit the defeat of everyday life.

So, while the week has been hectic I have to think back and single out a few moments. While at the beach, even walking back up covered in sand and water and walking with a screaming baby and a whiny 4 year old – I still remember seeing the look on the other mother’s faces. Mothers whose kids were now grown up. Was that look longing of a time passed? Was it thanking goodness they weren’t in my shoes? What about the moment in the car when both kids are screaming bloody murder, it is raining cats and dogs so I cannot see past my windshield wipers and there is a poopy diaper in the console of my car? One day I will look back at those moments and long for them to be my daily life again. Why can’t I remember that now? Why it is so hard to stop and look and just be?

It is now naptime at my house. Nash is asleep and Lou is in her room and quiet, not sleeping. These are the times that I feel refreshed and can look at the day with a positive attitude. Why is it that this new-found energy seeps away so quickly? While I am so thankful for that lady at Kroger today and her voice of reason, I almost wish she could remind me daily. I also wish that I didn’t have to be reminded. So, while finding grace in the stickiness of a busted watermelon all over my legs…I find myself singing in my head, “it’s the stuff that dreams are made of…” and trying to remember to revel in this moment in time.

UPDATE - I stole this from a friend's FB status, what a perfect excuse not to go run the vacuum, hehe:

The cleaning and scrubbing
will wait till tomorrow,
for Children grow up,
as I've learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs.
Dust go to sleep.
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep......

Until next time...when I may and may not be a mush-ball again. :)


Lizzie said...

Beautiful post. Thank you for sharing. We all need this reminder daily.

Lizzie said...

Beautiful post. Thank you for sharing. We all need this reminder daily.

Margaret said...

Love this post---it made me cry. I'm right there with you. I stay at home with my 2, 4, and 5 year olds while my husband works ridiculous amounts of hours and we are lucky if we see him for a few minutes in the mornings. I'm knee deep in dirty diapers, whining, drama, and laundry--but I keep trying to remind myself that I'm going to miss this when they're grown. Thanks for such an awesome post!!

Brad, Amy, Bes and Mae said...

How perfect that I am reading this at 2 am while up nursing and thinking when oh when will I ever get a night of uninterrupted sleep?? Thanks for sharing. I needed that.

Keri Sullivan Ninness said...

That post made me cry. Like buckets. Makes me want to be the grace of Mothers for someone else. Here's to hoping MK cooperates enough to give me a shot :)

me weber said...

Tears..... want to go get my baby out of bed and rock him. Thanks.

beki said...

You're so right. The time does pass quickly...this moment is only a season in life.
With #4 on the way, we get a lot of strange looks, especially now that we've made it through the rough spots of infancy and toddlerhood with our three. We're starting all over again, and that's quite alright because I know how quickly it will pass. I plan to savor every moment of this next little one!! (of course I'll also be dealing with a teenager and a toddler at the same time, ugh!!)

K.S. said...

loved this, and needed it so! thanks, friend, for sharing... =)

Morgan Ryals said...

Amy, my name is Morgan and I'm Jason Ryals' wife. First off, I've never made a comment on your blog but I LOVE reminds me so much of us sometimes and I'm pretty sure Louisa is a girl version of our son Tanner...the things you blog about are things that sound just like something he'd do. So with that I completely stole your title and made a blog of my own...just for these reasons :) Secondly, you just made me boo hoo because everything you just said is so, so true! I always catch myself trying to get the boys in bed and always yellin' about something but I know one day I'll regret that. I complained about something the other day on FB and my step-mom's sister made a comment and told me to live it up because her son was about to be 16 and she misses those days so much. She said the song by Trace Adkins "You're gonna miss this" is exactly how she feels and now everytime I hear it I try to re-adjust my attitude with them. But from one mom to another, you're awesome...even though I don't know you personally. Thanks for sharing your stories, they are great! :)

Blessed said...

Amy, I love this! Needed to hear it. God sends us those people to remind us of things just when we need it. Loved your watermelon story! You are doing GREAT! Carrie :)