The time at the tone is 7:14 p.m. I'm sitting on the couch, soothing an exhausted infant, who has been screaming for the past twenty minutes, waiting her turn to be held. Within my line of sight there is an upended memory game, a basket of trains, a knight's costume, throw pillows, a wooden puzzle, and a stuffed bear littering the living room. The kitchen isn't much better. On the other side of the wall, I hear a little boy say to his brother, "You're a peanut head!" and a giggle in response.
And I am okay.
I'm not winning any mother-of-the-year awards for today. Runny noses, cold rain, and a touch of sleep deprivation lent itself to a day full of cartoons. Dinner time snuck up on me, as did the reality that Brian had to work tonight, and I was on my own with the kids. The baby wouldn't sleep unless I held her, but the longer I held her, the more the boys screamed and tackled one another, until, giving up, I declared the day Over, put the baby down to screech in her bouncy seat for a while, and hurried through our bedtime routine. Now the boys are in bed, but they are unsettled, and Emmy is dozing just as restlessly in my arms.
I remember moments just like this when Silas was tiny, and Asher was not yet two. I remember seeing toddler blocks and puzzles all over the living room, hearing little Silas wail while I read a bedtime story to his brother, and feeling as though my best wasn't enough, wasn't even close. It was completely overwhelming.
Tonight, I don't feel that way.
Tonight feels like exactly what it is - just one day. Just one moment among a million, strung together to build our life as a family. I raised my voice today; most days, I don't. Emmy cried tonight because I couldn't pick her up; most of the time, I do. The living room is chaotic; while that once overwhelmed me, now I know that it will get picked up, and trashed, and picked up again, a thousand times over. It was just one day. Not my best, not my worst. Just another day.
Tomorrow, we start over.
Thanks be to God.