Thursday, June 7, 2012
I wake up trapped. The three year old must have found his way to me in the middle of the night, and has draped himself across my legs. The baby is nestled up under my arms. My alarm is sounding and I get creative as I disentangle myself without waking either of them. Success!
The birds seem extra loud this year. I'm not sure why. I head to the kitchen, start the coffee and take out the kitchen trash. On a whim I walk out by the garden boxes to check the trap we set for the groundhogs. So far we've caught 3 little rascally babies. This morning, the trap is empty. I turn toward the garden.
Those groundhogs have really done a number. In some cases, plants are just gone. In the past, I've never had a groundhog eat tomato plants, yet there is one that was eaten down to nothing and then half dragged away. Pepper plants sheared right down to nothing. They haven't touched the potato plants, which are growing in thick and lush, and they have completely ignored the onions. Still, the beans have been stripped bare of any leaves. The kale is just a collection of green sticks sprouting out from the ground. Still, if we can get this groundhog population under control, we may still get something (anything?) out of this garden.
The orange blossom bush out back that my mother always disliked is in full bloom. I close my eyes and smell my childhood. It's really something to raise these children in the same neighborhood I grew up in. Some days, I feel like I'm still a kid, growing up right along side them. Orange blossoms smell to me like sprinklers and popsicles and sandboxes and sweat. They make me think of singing songs while pumping swings and riding bikes and running fast. I wonder if that's the way my kids will think of them, too.
I make my way back inside, noting the chalk left in a pile at the end of the driveway, the bikes leaning haphazardly against the garage, the soccer ball wet with morning dew. A kid yard, to be sure. All standing about, testimony to 5 kids living yesterday in their typical larger-than-life way. I make a mental note to have them pick up the yard today and head back inside for some coffee.
It's not long before I hear someone small padding about upstairs. The sun is now pouring through the kitchen windows. As if a spell has been broken, they all start to wake up. One by one, down those stairs, they come looking - for me. Another day has begun.
Sometimes the weight of what it means to be a mom to all of these people who need so much, a wife that supports no matter what and a person with so much to learn and discover - sometimes it can weigh me down. Every day is full to the brim. But more often than not, I am amazed at the privilege of being adored, needed, wanted, counted on. The work is hard but the rewards are constant.
Jonah finds me in the kitchen, where he can count on me to be, and throws his arms around my leg. "Good Morning, Mama!"
I look down and say "It IS a good morning, isn't it?"