Sitting across from me in the doctor's waiting room...a young woman. Wheezing and sneezing and coughing..and looking pale and exhausted. Two young children - whining and crying and clamoring for her attention - playing at her feet.
'The babysitter cancelled...you know how these things go.'
And - it is with great relief that I can say that those days are now behind me. A babysitter changing her plans. It can - it did - make a perfectly sane mother..insanely crazy.
It's all - now - lost in one hazey memory. One day after another. Endless layers and shades of grey. I want to think that I was this 'yummy mommy' - patient..nurturing..perfect in every which way. Never wishing - at times to put my needs ahead of theirs. Never wanting anything at all for myself. I want to believe that they were the best days..the best years..that it was all pleasure and no pain.
Three children in as many years. It was a house full..a life full. In spite of the order I kept - it was disordered..messy and sometimes chaotic. One was sick..and then another. One needed..but another always needed more. Consistent sleep was hard to come by. I was - like this young woman sitting across from me - often stretched beyond my limit and human capacity.
Two hands. Three kids. More than a handful..for sure.
But - I can say that in spite of it all - I did love it...or most of it anyway. Would I 'do over' - if I could?..if I would?
Yes...perhaps. Yes..of course..maybe.
With a little more widsom..a lot more grace...and the knowing how fleeting it all is. They do grow.