Joyful Absurdity: {pretty, happy, funny, real} Vol. 17

{pretty}

Spring is my favorite time of year – there’s just so much {pretty} to be found outdoors. Everywhere you look there are pretty little discoveries, delightful surprises, reminders of what you’d forgotten during the long winter months.

These days I’m enjoying the tulips my mother-in-law planted. I’m soaking up the sounds of the fountain and the wind chimes, which drift through our open windows.

I’m watching my little boys dig in the dirt. They operate with more gentleness than I’d have guessed: rescuing worms, cradling moths in their cupped hands, mourning the deaths of ants almost too tiny to notice.

I’m rejoicing in the red buds and the beginnings of the lilac blooms. I’m eagerly awaiting my favorite: the Lilly of the Valley.

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{happy, funny, real}

To be honest, life has felt a little too full around here lately. And it’s for just the silliest of reasons: My boys have been taking swim lessons.

The lessons only last a half-hour, but they require us to be up and out of the house on the two days of the week when we’re not already up and out of the house for preschool. And it is so exhausting. I seriously don’t know how you working parents do it. I don’t know how you get everybody ready and out the door five mornings of the week, every week, for years on end. And you parents of school-aged children – you too!

Until this month, I had not realized how much I appreciate gentle starts to my day. Without them, I’m finding myself more frazzled and tired, more rushed, less peaceful and productive.

I tell you this to set the stage for the following:

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This isn’t a very good picture to represent my {happy, funny, real}, but as I have no documentarian recording my every move, there’s really no way I could provide you with one. Or with three, as the case may be.

You see, Wednesday was one of those rushed, not-peaceful, not-productive days. I started by dropping my oldest son off at his preschool and bringing my friend’s son home with me so she could help in the classroom. The two little boys played together, running in-and-out, in-and-out of the house. The baby napped. The boys required multiple snacks and potty breaks and attentions to their shoes. They followed me around and cuddled on my lap. They kept me very busy, though I didn’t feel like I had much time to be kept busy by them.

A friend was to come over for lunch. Mary was to come help me plan the set-up for the Catholic women bloggers’ conference I’m hosting next week, so I was trying to bake us a quiche. But little boys don’t care about quiches, do they?

No, they don’t.

So I sat with them a bit and cuddled. And when I got tired of my back bothering me, I laid down on the floor to stretch it out. “Don’t climb on me!” I said.

Futile warning.

Of course they climbed on me – all three of them. They were like ants swarming over a piece of food dropped from a picnic table. Before I knew it, I’d been pinned. I had a 3-year-old, a 2-year-old, and a 1-year-old lying on my head.

They yelled and laughed and clawed at my face. I writhed and resisted, but those boys – all 90 pounds of them – they proved formidable captors.

So I started laughing. And laughing and laughing and laughing until I cried. I couldn’t remember when anything had ever been so {funny} as this stupid situation I’d gotten myself into. All I could think of was the absurdity of the situation: Anyone who walked into the room would find a thrashing set of mom legs sticking out from under a writhing, shrieking pile of boy.

I could not get up. I could not extract myself from that pile.

So I kept laughing. I laughed harder than I had in years. I could. not. stop. What would my mother-in-law think if she came in? What would my friend think if she looked through the window and saw three boys sitting on my head? What would they think of the muffled, manic, unstoppable laughter coming through the little-boy giggles and yells?

I thought about how absurd it all was and I let go of all my pressures and my exhaustion and my deadlines and my responsibilities. I just laughed.

I think it took almost a full five minutes, but I finally wrestled my way out of the melee. My son was yelling, “Way back down, Mommy! Way back down!” But I had to get back to reality.

And at that moment, my reality looked very {real} to me indeed. My house was a wreck, my quiche was barely started, I wore disheveled clothes and no make-up, and I was due to be receiving a guest in a matter of minutes.

Mary arrived just after the blasted quiche (which took forever to bake) was finally shoved in the oven. We watched the boys play and fight and run and cry bloody murder in the backyard. I toured her around a messy, dirty house. I jumped up from our lunch at least a dozen times, trying to keep the boys “quiet” so Mary and I could “talk.”

After she left, I put the baby down for a nap and prepared to sit at my computer for what I hoped would be a quiet, restful hour.

It wasn’t. The baby woke too soon but was too tired to play. So I gave up. I sat on the sofa and held him in my arms. He dozed against my chest. I half-watched the boys’ movie, half-dozed too.

I relaxed. I let go – a different sort of letting go from the kind you do when you’re squashed under three small boys. I literally put up my feet. I rested my head on the sofa cushions and studied the curly head and soft cheeks lying just below my chin.

What a {happy} feeling.

The happiness grew as my other boys began to stir, picking their way towards us. They cuddled. They climbed behind me to play with my hair. One posed for a chain of selfies better suited to a teenaged girl.

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20150422_172824More absurdity, more joy. Always more joy.

Visit Like Mother, Like Daughter for more everyday contentment in {pretty, happy, funny, real}.

 

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