A Life of Sacrifice?

I dream of living a life of great sacrifice. I dream of fulfilling my calling as a wife and mother in myriad heroic ways. But it never happens like I expect. I envision waking early and scurrying about in happy service from the holy overflow of quiet moments at Jesus’ feet. I imagine cooking and baking and delighting my family with fresh, warm treats. I dream up happy moments of play as I lay aside finished tasks (because I got up early to do them) to spend quality moments with my children. I think about delightful meals together with our entire family conversing around the table. In reality, however, I’m too exhausted most mornings to heft my body out of […]

Rough and Tumble

Rough and tumble—crash!—there goes My coffee cup. I sigh and know They won’t clean up the mess they’ve made. No, not without my guiding aid. I put the laundry down and breathe— I calm myself because I need To temper what I’m wont to yell. It’s simmering there; I feel it swell. I halt my steps a moment more Not to react as oft before. I pray for grace for me, for them. (How oft I need this little gem!) And then I head, quick, down the stairs To find six little eyes, three chairs And toys amuck across the floor All spilling from the pantry door Where hideouts burrow with the food. The eyes are searching momma’s mood. Drawing […]

I Wake

I startle at the shuffling of tiny feet across our bedroom floor. I blink through the heaviness to see the shape of our youngest son silhouetted against pale morning light. I heft my gaze to blazing numbers on the night stand. “Six twenty-two!” the clock defies. That’s exactly eight minutes before I wanted to get up. Just like yesterday, and the day before. I close my eyes for one lingering moment before focusing them again on our son. I see his tightly-fitting striped pajamas in black-and-white, though I know they’re blue and green. He stands patiently beside my bed, hugging his love-worn bear beneath his chin while sucking his thumb. He breaks the habit only to say, with all the […]

Cereal Aisle Parenting

My mission is quite simple: my wife tasked me with picking up instant oatmeal–not the 5-minute kind I bought last time–for tomorrow’s breakfast. How it came to this I may never understand. I look down at the fluorescent white reflection haloing my 3-year-old, who is making cherub-sized snow angels on the cold tile floor. His face is as red as the Fruit Loop box he so desperately wants. Rage explodes from his body with ear-piercing shrieks. My pulse quickens and I can feel each throb in my neck as the cereal aisle council draws near to assess the situation. Their chief approaches first: an overweight, pajama-clad female in her late-40’s carrying a family-sized box of Pop-Tarts. The others form a […]

Midnight Sonnetesque

Now sleepily I lie, and wearily, drearily sigh With heavy eyelids, breaths, and limbs I dream. I’m floating down the Thames upon a stream of boats—But hark! Is that? A baby’s cry. Oh no! I sigh and moan and grip The bedsheets up around my head. I really want to stay in bed, But out I tumble—up!—and trip Into pajamas waiting there, Beside the bed, upon the chair, Where in the dark no need to see Have I, for it is certainty That I’m on call each night to feed My baby girl. I’m all she needs.