Some days we move along at a perfect beat. It's a true jazz rhythm, slow and sometimes halting, always with a strong back-beat, and we jive right along in perfect 3 part harmony. I contribute this to all the Ella I sing when my children are trapped in my womb and must listen and these are the days that I love, the days when it seems like nothing has really happened. Meals prepared, eaten, babies nursed burbed nursed changed nursed and burped again, toys gotten out and cleaned up and repeat; a joke is shared; cuddles are enjoyed; banana bread baked; daddy's arrival celebrated.
Yesterday was not one of those days.
Yesterday was not Jazz at all.
When Josh walked in the door I think I said something along the lines of "Zeke is screaming because I made him come inside a half hour ago when it got dark, Mal is screaming because Zeke is screaming, and I havent started dinner yet. Welcome home."
These days will happen, I've learned, and when the boys were finally in bed asleep I took the time to look back and really think thru what parts of the day worked, and what parts didnt, and why it was so. I know that I cant control everything but I am also aware that I am the one that sets the beat for our day. And that it's when I am at my best that my children have the chance to be their best as well. So much of parenting, I've found, is discipline but suprisingly its mostly SELF-discipline. Was I patient? Were my expectations realistic? Was I emotionally grounded? Was I distracted? Was I available when needed?
I am the one that sets the beat to our day and its a heady responsibiliy. And maybe one of the most valuable lessons I can give to my children is to teach them that not even I am always at my best. We get thru the day, we look back on why it was hard, we ask forgiveness, and we try again.