Saturday morning I arose with the alarm to begin preparations for the day that lied ahead. A day that was jam packed moment to moment and only a strategic plan with a specific play by play could keep that train from derailing. And I was on it.
There I was in the laundry room firing up the iron. I hadn't even had a cup of coffee- this task had to play out while I waited on my perfectly brewed perfection to finish dripping. Two stacks of small stars, one for each kid. I knew which stack was whose, mostly. And I yawned, wiped the hair from my eyes, and began ironing them onto their sleeves. These are the 'awards' they earn each week at basketball. One for attending practice and remembering the memory verse from the week before, and one for how they contributed the most in the game. And they carry them with pride upon their sleeves.
As I stood there waiting on the iron to heat up, I decide to crawl under the ironing board to unload the dryer so I could throw the next waiting load in to begin it's drying process. Crawl back out and start another load of wash- may as well, right?
Wake the kids, feed them, dress them, make sure emily's uniform is on right (and that she was actually wearing socks this time), gather paper work, print girl scout troop reminder slips and into the car we went. Time to pick up 69 cases of girlscout cookies for Allyson's troop. Cookies are important to a troop, and to girlscouts, because they earn patches. And money.
Got there right on time, presented my form I remembered to print when I entered the initial order (which was also on time), loaded up my cookies and off we went to deliver and sort. For the next two hours we split up cases into individual girl orders for the troop, reviewed info with the other co-cookie mom, and we were back in the car.
Stop at the post office, the one with people lined clear out of the door. Wait in line for 24 minutes while playing I Spy with two children who couldn't keep their hands off of each other. Finally get our moment to mail a small care package to a favorite college student of ours and we truck back across the parking lot to the car.
Swing into the CVS to grab bottled waters and a box of nutrigrain bars for the upcoming game. Try and manage the fighting and arguing between the same two children. Leave in a huff while somehow managing to not completely loose my cool. Pick up grandma and fly up to the church for a basketball game. We arrive early, for one of the first times in the entire season.
After the game, return home to clean up for another exit, this time to the church for one of the most beautiful valentine dinners ever. Come back home, clean up children, bag up cookie orders for church the next morning, couple more loads of laundry, jammify kids and collapse in a heap.
This day was not much different from the others. As a mother, I keep money in the lunch accounts, pick up prescriptions, manage our grocery inventory, schedule dental cleanings, attend pta meetings, remember to provide cookies or snacks on assigned days, track all activities and organize (or at least try to) the lives of all five of us.
I want a star. Or a badge. Or a patch. Why don't the mommas get some kind of significant something to signify the completion of their tasks? And as soon as I thought this, I knew the answer.
Because it would just be living proof that I fall short. Other moms would get different colored stars for doing things differently, more efficiently, better, etc. And it would just start the whole thing all over. It would prove nothing and just be hurtful in the end. We do this work of raising a family for the glory of God, and perhaps He is knitting jewels into our crowns in heaven. But even if He isn't, that is alright. Because we mothers and fathers are doing His work- and the children in our homes are blessings, and I know this with all of my heart.
Plus I swiped a handful of leftover girl scout badges and basketball stars and I'm gonna make my own vest.