Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Unexpected Twist

This is going to sound straight-up crazy, but I am convinced if I say something out loud in regards to my kids, it will come true in short order, or they will do the opposite of what I said they always do or always don't do. I don't believe in being jinxed, but I almost do. Or I don't. I better say both things so nothing bad happens.  

For instance, one time I bragged we were on our third child and had never had someone throw a fit in a store. Sure, we had someone just haul off and go to the bathroom in the middle of the aisle in Hobby Lobby, but never did one of our children throw a fit!

Less than one week later, I had all three girls, ages 4, 2 and 11 months, at the grocery store with me. Bad move. I usually tried to get groceries when they were with my parents or when Preston was home, but we were having one of those "we MUST see other humans, or Mommy will take her own self down to the loony bin" kind of days, so I buckled everyone in and drove two miles to Kroger. It took longer to buckle them all in than it did to drive there. Then we had to get a cart that was practically as big as the Durango (pre-minivan days...when I still had pride) due to the toy police car attached to the front, complete with dual horns. What psycho invented that? Someone without kids or someone with mommy issues who was looking to get revenge on the entire mommy species. Got the older two in the police car, sat the baby in the seat in front of me, and set out for the free cookies. Everybody knows that's where you have to go first if you want to survive the grocery store.

Got the girls settled with cookies, (Chocolate chocolate chip...again, WHO puts dark brown cookies out for kids??? Never mind that I had a couple, too.) and I began my list. I wasn't too far into it when things took a serious unexpected turn.

Looking back, I have never been able to figure out what started the fit. She had some cookie left, no sister was messing with her, her pacifier was securely clipped to her shirt well within her reach. All I know is The Youngest started screaming, and got crazy red, and chucked her cookie down and then tried to throw herself after it. I literally caught her beelining head first for the concrete Kroger floor. I wrestled her back into the seat and started to walk a little more quickly, hoping to distract her, but she just tried once again to dive out of the cart. I strapped the disgusting little strap around her waist and hoped that would hold her. Nope. It was ridiculous. I had no idea what was happening or how I could soothe her. I was humiliated. I LEFT MY CART OF GROCERIES SITTING IN THE CEREAL AISLE, gathered my herd and walked out. We didn't leave the house again for a month.

Another example is from a few months ago when I was talking to my friend in carpool line, and she mentioned how one of her kiddos had thrown up. It got me thinking, and I said, OUT LOUD, "No one has thrown up in our house in about six months. It's probably about time." Laugh, laugh. If I just hadn't said it OUT LOUD. It's ok to think it, but if you put it out there, it's gonna happen. And sure enough, within the week, a stomach bug of epic proportions hit our house, taking its sweet time and going through all the girls once and then back around for a second time through. It was a full month before we were in the clear.  

Or how I was talking to this same friend this week and she said how cute The Youngest looked in her paint clothes she was supposed to wear to school instead of her uniform. I told her I had picked those pants because Painting Child hates them, and it wouldn't matter if they got covered in paint. Guess which pants that child has wanted to wear every single day this week?

When they were babies I didn't dare brag about how long of a stretch they were sleeping, or I was guaranteed a night of awakening every hour. In fact I was inclined to talk about how poorly they were sleeping hoping somehow this "out loud phenomenon" would have its magic effect of the opposite occurring and making them sleep longer.  

And I have learned to make it a point not to say the word "never" because sure as I do, people will throw themselves out of grocery carts.

These people the Lord has given me for now are totally unpredictable in every way. One child in particular changes her mind almost as soon as the words come out of her mouth about everything from her love/hatred of peanut butter, to her love/hatred of school, to her love/hatred of Disney World. 

All I know about this life is the Lord has planned my days and the days of the ones I love most, and I have to go with that. (even though it seems like my words have a magical effect on what happens) Two dear friends have suffered staggering losses this week, losses my brain cannot comprehend, and rivers of tears have been shed, and really, this is the comfort: He knows. Before the beginning of Creation my days and the days of my children were written in the Book of Life. The Bible tells me in Revelation that before the foundation of the world, He knew our names and had them written down. Before He created the first leaf or water droplet.


The Ones I Love the Most...


...whom He has given me...


...to care for...


...for now.

In times of such deep despair as these two families I love have been asked to walk through this week, I know of no other comfort.

And while trivial in comparison, it's also comforting when the walk of everyday life takes turns you weren't expecting, such as sick kids, an impending snowstorm, a big medical bill when you thought you had met your deductible, or people throwing a fit in Kroger. The Lord Jesus knows...even though you were blindsided.

Grace for the unexpected,
Martha

  


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