Honey, I'm home...
(funny how the past always seems easier when you're in the present).
A part of me blames the internet for these expectations. The world of Pinterest and the mom blogosphere are chock-full of just enough ideas and picture perfect images to make you feel completely overwhelmed and disgusted at your inability to hold it all together and look cute while doing it. It's the world where I feel like a bad mom because I don't have 'busy bags' of fun, homemade projects for Cruz every day of the week, or well-balanced, organic meals for him to eat, or a clean-house-skinny-vanilla-latte-size-two-yoga-pants-kind-of-life. Because lately, Elmo and string cheese are about as well-balanced as it gets around here.
So tonight, as I make my Spring Break list and fill it with things like 'Make Lucky Charms Cupcakes,' and 'Figure Out How to Start a Garden,' I pray for balance. I pray for a week to rejuvenate and de-stress from what's been four weeks of major stress. I pray for the energy to accomplish some things on my list, and more importantly, the power to forget the list and soak up my little one. Most of all, I pray for more play than work, more laughter than worry, and more sun than clouds.
Today, I had an opportunity to practice this art of balance. Since Spring Break usually calls me to complete some hardcore spring cleaning endeavors, I decided to tackle our very unorganized kitchen pantry. I started by removing every single food item from the pantry, and made sure to stack them on the kitchen table and counter top, completely out of the way from our busy bee's reach.
About an hour into my project, I had both my boys busy - Beau was alphabetizing and reorganizing our spice rack, and Cruz was sorting chocolate covered raisins into two empty pantry containers I had rinsed out and given to him (take that, Pinterest). All was well and I was finishing my first of many projects in record time.
I have no idea how Cruz got his hands on the near-full container of Quaker Oats, or how he attempted to empty the entire thing onto the kitchen floor in what seemed like two seconds, but he did and he was quite pleased with himself.
And while my first instinct was to scream, grab a broom, and remove Cruz from the messy situation, I instead looked at Beau from across the room, grabbed my camera, and laughed hysterically as our obliviously destructive one did a rain dance in the middle of a pile of oatmeal. He kicked his feet and stomped as if he was playing in the rain, and had the time of his life throwing oats across the room. We let him play longer than we should have, let him 'attempt' to sweep them up, and took him outside to brush the rest of the oats out of his hair.
And although it did take me three hours to clean our pantry, it's done and we had fun while doing it. It felt good to be productive, and even better to let go a little bit. Because five years from now, I won't remember how clean the pantry was that day, but I will remember Cruz doing snow angels in a sea of Quaker Oats ;)
Happy Spring, everyone. May the art of balance find its way into your homes this week and on into this next season of life.