…where a brave and beautiful bunch gather every week to find out what comes out when we all spend five minutes writing on the same topic and then sharing ‘em over here.
The soft fleece of the blanket curled by my head being pulled out from under my cheek gets caught in my hair and I try to hide the wince of pain. Too late. The baby’s chant of momma shifts into a shriek and I open my eye a millimeter to see the red flash of the clock as it changes from 4:44 to 4:45. Just early enough to irritate me. Just late enough to wake the other girls if I ignore her request. Her third request. Anytime the first one comes before midnight I can pretty much see the future of the night without pulling out a crystal ball. We will be up again. And again. Drawing in a deeper breath I push down the frustration and lack of sleep and reach for her.
I need grace.
“NO!!!!” Her well-articulated anger pierces the otherwise quiet house and a swish of my coffee spills onto the cream carpet. I clamp my mouth shut for the moment it takes for her to throw herself on the floor in protest. “You know the routine Quail first potty, then…” I start to try again as she cuts me off with a swipe of her hand on my cheek while I’m bent to the ground wiping up my liquid energy from the formerly cream colored carpet. I feel the heat rise in my cheeks. My anger now matching hers. I stand up, trying to not spill my coffee again as I set it on the wooden desk. This time I walk away. It’s too early to start a loud argument. And it’s too late to have a drawn out explanation for what all needs to be done in the next 15 minutes before I have to leave for work.
I need grace.
“I don’t want to wear sneakers!!! NO! NO! NO!!!!!! You don’t know anything. Ms. Young wasn’t angry at Ahlivia when she wore her sparkly shoes!!!” She kicks the sneakers I had set down in front of her minutes earlier and the bright twinkling of the lit-up toes mocks our anger as it sets off the third migraine I’ve had this week.” I start to reply with a too early life lesson about how in our house we follow the rules and it doesn’t matter what Ahlivia’s family is ok with, but her door slams before I can finish the sentence.
I need grace.
Squeezing my eyes shut I pause in the dark hallway. The Keurig presses its last drops out loudly as Lovey’s voice appears in front of me. “Come on, you gotta go. The car is running and here, this will help.” He hands me a steel travel mug and my purse. “Drive carefully.” Just as he calls out for the girl’s to come say goodbye, their bedroom door flies open and two matching sets of bare feet come tumbling down the hall and little hands twine themselves around my legs as their voices compete with each other. Mommma. My Momma. Breathing deep I bend down to kiss their small heads and begin again.