Sometimes it is just the tiny things that turn a good day into a tough day.
One friend saw me at church and came up to me with a smile. "It's so good to see your family back together again!"
He was talking about my husband being home from his trips....
I looked up with the closest imitation of a smile I could come up with and a quick "thank-you" and walked away.
We are not back together. We are still fractured, limping. And last night's visit did not go well.
It is those tiny things which makes life hard.
Then again, it is those tiny things which make it good, too. My husband came over this afternoon, and shut himself inside his office to study. There was a party going on where he was staying, and he had a long-standing commitment to speak to a group this evening. So he studied, and we tried to be quiet and it was awkward. He had left last night irritated, and the kids and I tense up very quickly when daddy is irritated.... it is like the reactions of someone who has lived through a major earthquake responding to small vibrations in a building - instant alertness.
He came home after speaking, and brought me chocolate. My favorite type with coconut. I warmed up some food for him, and he made me tea, and we sat and watched TV. Too tired to do much else. I had cleaned son #3's room.... that job is enough to send anyone off the deep end! Son #3 is a very sweet kid, but he has some inability to keep the same thought in his head for more than three seconds, and he talks incessantly.
It is in the little things.
I gave in on some little things, too. I watched some football.
Little things - he grabbed the snow shovel and cleared off the driveway and sidewalk before he left. Yeah, we have snow, lots of it! This is from a husband who would not even get out of bed last winter, even when it would take me two hours to shovel my way out to get the kids to school on time.
So there are little things, and they are good. I am just tired very easily. This is wearing on me.
And Then Those Things Which Strike Fear Into Your Heart
Tomorrow, I have to face son #1's room. If you see me stark raving mad drooling in the corner of a mental institution tomorrow night, you'll know why! Son #1 has ODD- Organizational Disability Disorder (yes, I'm kidding...). He hasn't even figured out how to organize his feet to walk down stairs, but simply falls down them in sections! He also has a great love of figuring out how anything works - or at least how anything can be taken apart and spread all over his room. His latest project was trying to disassemble a bicycle to build a unicycle. Then there was the "collect old electronic equipment off the curbsides and disassemble them into minuscule pieces" phase. I know, I know - he may one day grow up to be some highly creative engineer who pioneers the next new discovery.... but right now he is a kid with a room scary enough to make the bravest mom cringe!
Son #2 is milder. He can somewhat keep things clean and possesses the ability to know how to clean a room. His problem is not what shape his room is in but WHAT I will find in it! Birds nests with eggs, dehydrated snakes, cocoons on sticks, flowers and leaves of all types, and, of course, the huge rock collection. No big guess as to what field he will go into.
When I had only two sons, and they were only one and a half and three, I had an interesting insight into their interests and characters. We walked down the street in our home town on our way out of a fast food place, my two sons one on each hand. Both said, "ooh!" at the same time. I looked down. Son #1's eyes were on the road, "Ooh! big monster truck!" Son #2's eyes were on the ground. "Ooh! pretty flower!" Both of them equally captivated by what their eyes saw and totally oblivious to what their brother saw! Thankfully, these two dramatically opposite boys are also best friends and have worked out how to share in the other's interest and play well.
Now if only we could somehow squeeze son #3 into that tight brotherhood, I would be happy.