Thursday, June 3, 2010


An overflowing suitcase, a mishmash of clean and dirty clothes left over from the trip we took a week ago spills out over the dining room floor.  Attempting to make dinner with an indignant young man clinging to my leg and howling for attention.  Brain racing a million miles an hour constantly tallying jobs to be done.  From the disheveled living room a daughter calls out "Mo-OM!  You said you'd cut out a heart for me 10 minutes ago and you still HAVEN'T!" "Add it to the list" I think darkly.  "Job number 5 million 10 thousand and one."  I pause to cut out the highly anticipated hearts and then realize something is wrong - the wailing has stopped.  Rush to the kitchen where little J has finally found something to distract from his misfortune: a salt shaker delightfully full and ridiculously easy for a 14 month old to open.  I crunch across the floor, swipe the shaker from his hand and frown "no!"  The wailing resumes.  He toddles over to the half filled glass of juice his sister had abandoned on the table ("He can REACH now!!  You can't leave things on tables!!!") and quickly dumps it over his head and then splashes delightedly in the orange puddle on the floor.  The list keeps climbing higher in my head. I close my eyes and it looms before me, taunting me with the sheer height and girth of it.


Bills to be paid.  Home to clean.  Diapers to change.  Laundry to clean.  Children to raise.  And don't forget to research every little thing you put on or in them.  Make lovely healthy dinners.  Be sweet and beautiful for your husband.

It may not look like a lot, but at approximately 5:30 pm I had had it.  That unattainable list rendering me largely hopeless.

What is a mom to do when she is more failure than fabulous?

I turn my back on the list of inadequacies, grab up a sticky baby with a kiss and start another kind of list.  Gratitude is contagious and soon my girls are sidling up to me, adding their own.

So thankful for an orange juice and salt covered baby, giggling up at me, finally having what he wants: me.

Thankful for little girls with big imaginations, drawing our family in the center of a big paper heart.

Grateful for a snug little home (small and cleans up quickly!), a sweet husband who gets it and doesn't require perfection out of me, mercies new every morning and the pizza man on speed dial.

Unlike my list of growing dread, this list inspires and encourages as it grows.

Gratitude is my drug of choice.  It really works.


  1. You're awesome and amazing and I'm so glad I know you!

  2. Beautiful and real, love it!

  3. This brought tears to my eyes. Sometimes it is so hard to get over the dark side list and find joy in the chaos. Thanks for reminding me of that joy.

  4. Yeah! (clapping hands). I love this and will remember it at approximately 5:00 in my kitchen this evening.


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