I woke up this morning, stuffy-nosed and bleary-eyed from the winter cold I probably caught as a result of working at the elementary school for the past week, and meandered into the bathroom. I was only the third person this morning to go to use it, and I swear I had it clean last night before retiring to bed. But lo, there were washcloths all over the counters, towels on the floor, various toiletry items strewn about the tiled vanity. Oh and I failed to mention the large gob of toothpaste on the edge of the sink. Seriously, how many washcloths does it take to wash a sixteen-year-old’s face? Please don’t answer that. And who, who, was attempting to brush the teeth of a whale shark, because seriously that’s the only animal who could possibly need that much toothpaste.
I was getting ready to yell at Jacob, as would be my usual custom, and remembered that he had about a minute-and-a-half to finish getting ready before his carpool would arrive to take him to zero period marching band. And in that brief moment, I remembered something far more profound. That mess, and many of the others in our house, in our car, and elsewhere, is made by those for whomI am most thankful for. This family, this home, are my greatest blessings in this life. And I have to remember that everything I chose up to this point- my education, my decision to work outside the home, my decision to not work outside the home, and more- was in the hope that we could give them the best chance possible.
I decided in that moment not to yell at Jacob, not that it meant I wasn’t yelling for the rest of them to get in the car now about 35 minutes later. The morning carpool runs had to be completed. But as I drove home from the soul-sucking morning rounds in Los Angeles County traffic, I did reflect on how thankful I really am to have these four children with all their strengths and struggles. And how very lucky I am to get to be called their Mom.