Yesterday, in between a series of social units I had three hours of time at home with the kids. I thought it would be nice to get about 15 minutes alone(ish) in garden to pull up our accidental harvest of carrots since the ground was nice and soft from the rain. So I grabbed my rain boots, my trowel and my four year old and we started pulling out carrots.
Everyone was accounted for: the baby was getting a much-needed nap after being schlepped around all morning and afternoon, Anthony was doing some therapeutic baking (he nearly always comes home and bakes after having a day of social units that tax his poor introverted soul), and Cece and Rosie were taking a bath after both having accidents in their pants (I don't even want to talk about it...). So I took the remaining wild-card child to the garden for some Mom-n'-Tom time.
While I was out there I was thinking about how my life wasn't all that bad. "See? Look, at this, my kids are getting old enough to grab a moment here and there of peace and the warmer weather opens up my world to about a quarter of an acre instead of 1400 sq. feet. Ahhhh"...I felt rejuvenated walking back to the compost heap to dump a few buckets of clippings, hosing off the dirt from the carrots, feeding the bunny and giving her some exercise. Good stuff. About 15 minutes is all I needed to recognize the true fact that I have a good, blessed life.
But nothing in life is free.
I came into the boys fighting; the baking project abandoned and a kitchen covered with bowls and spoons and flour; the girls standing on the stairs wrapped in towels with bubbles streaming down their hair and face crying because they got soap in their eyes; soapy water covering the the floor from the bathroom all down the hallway and mixed with a bucket of dirt and pine needles that they had spilled earlier and; of course, the baby wide awake - thank you girls for crying so loudly.
Sometimes all you need to gain a little perspective on your life is a break from it for a short period. But the problem is that nothing is free as a mom. These children tax every bit of freedom and independence that I try to take from them and most of the time the tax is not worth the break.
But yesterday it was. I will hopefully keep remembering the smell of the soil and spring air, the feel of the wet grass, the soft fur of Lippity, the sound of nesting birds and the sweetness of carrot-harvesting with Thomas. And, maybe, MAYBE someday I won’t even mind remembering the tax I had to pay for that moment.