It had been one of those days.
We all woke up late (and still exhausted from our 27-hour driving round trip to Parris Island).
The air conditioning broke.
The septic tank gave us trouble.
There was general morning confusion about who had to be at what job at what time.
Then there was the nearly forgotten orthodontist appointment I had to take twelve children to where I learned that four of them would be put in braces rather soon and poor Trin had my genetics and was missing a significant portion of adult teeth.
When we got home, I remembered that I had some yard work to do. You see, my kids had a contest going…who could gather the most coconuts and what section of the yard would grow them best. Which seemed like a great idea two years ago…until life got busy and the coconuts grew and before you know it neighbors weren’t happy with our little contest-turned-jungle and had politely requested we remove them. We had one more day to comply before we got fined.
So I headed out to the yard with four boys who swore they’d help me.
And they did…sort of.
We dug, and shoveled, and pulled, and yanked, and dug some more and pulled some 25 coconuts into the side yard. In the process, Judson starts asking me truly deep questions about his hand (he was born missing four fingers on his left hand) and if it made him the odd one in our family. I reminded him that all of us were odd…so don’t sweat it.
Ransom stuck his hand right where I was digging and thanks be to Jesus I stopped the shovel just short of his fingers. One little rascal took my container full of carefully home-grown, collected and dried super-size sunflower seeds and took it upon himself to pour them all over the yard. It just went downhill from then on until my neighbors and likely several golfers heard less than perfect parenting language from our backyard escapade.
I came inside the house to a Mt. Everest of laundry that had been ever-so-obviously ignored and before I could even finish my cup of ice water and begin climbing it, I looked at my watch to see that I had eight minutes to get 11 kids to swim practice. Jolting Crickie, Stone, Ver and Vaughn out of a deep sleep and shoving them into a piping hot van made our quick jaunt to swim a seven minute cry fest. I unloaded the wee ones in the parking lot to discover that my stroller wheel was broken and the brakes stuck. When I got on the pool deck I realized Stone was wearing Verity’s leggings and a shirt he had outgrown over a year ago.
After enduring on the pool deck with an overtired Ver and Vaughn, we made our way home after Crickie’s practice. I had forgotten to start dinner and I had big kids on their way home, so David and I could have a date night. Things were looking up…finally something in my day to look forward to. The last two minutes in the car ride home were actually pleasant and Crickie and I were singing along to Taylor Swift.
It was going to be an alright evening after all.
I walked in the front door, Ver in one arm, Vaughn in the other. The sweltering heat hit me mixed simultaneously with a strong odor.
There…there it was. My dogs had gone digging in the bleeping trash and dug up a horrendous diaper. It’s remnants were everywhere. I stood there stupefied about to cry.
Stone walked in behind me…takes one look around…looks right at me and sighs.
“I’ll go get the guns.”
I’ve never laughed so hard at the perfect comedic timing of a three-year-old.
In that split second, when I was about to snap, a sarcastically-toned answer from Stone brought me so much joy.
And I realized…even as rough as the day had been, there were still about 187 bazillion things going simply amazing and I had so very much to be thankful for. At that moment, top on my list was a three-year-old who completely gets my sense of humor and can use it appropriately to lighten my momentary madness.
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