Longing for Normal

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Longing for NormalYesterday was the type of day that I absolutely hate. I *think* I am kind of good at dealing with most things that I don’t like, but according to my husband (and he would know!), I complain too much about the weather. In particular, I tend to carry on about my tremendous dislike of summer. I guess I am opposite of Olaf the snowman (sorry…we are watching way too much Frozen in this house!).

I tend to be miserable when it is humid. In fact, anything over 75 degrees is pretty much too warm for my taste. The house gets that muggy feeling, the kids don’t want to play outside anymore, and getting the kids in and out of the car is just a chore (extra complaining, air conditioning not kicking in fast enough, hot seat belts, etc.). Even to me this sounds extra whiny and SO trivial!

Although yesterday fit into this category of day perfectly (our first taste of summer weather!), I did not complain at all. In fact, I embraced every part of it!

This is because it was a “normal” day, and I have a new found appreciation of “normal.” Every once in a while, it is good to have something (please God, minor!) that reminds me of how great a regular day is (meltdowns, tantrums, laundry, meal prep/cleanup, etc. included!).

Mother’s Day weekend was anything but normal. It started off with my husband working all day on Saturday at a Catholic Men’s Conference for our Diocese (good reason to work, but we want Daddy on Saturdays!). I had tried to get myself ready mentally and physically to care for our six children by myself for the day. If I could make it through a dance class and soccer game, we would be home free (pizza delivery and movie!). Or so I thought…

I will spare everyone the details, but through the course of Mother’s Day weekend, the entire family came down with a major stomach bug.

It was awful for my children. I hated watching them suffer and knowing there was absolutely nothing I could do. I said many prayers for parents of children who are chronically ill.

When I came down with the bug, I was in so much pain (stomach cramps) and I felt like I was going to pass out (still nursing a baby during it!) for many hours. I caught sight of the Obituaries that happened to be sitting open on the kitchen table (never got around to cleaning up the Sunday paper!). I longingly thought that those people, God willing, would never, ever suffer again in Heaven!

Yesterday morning, I woke up feeling like a million bucks. It didn’t matter in the least that I had been up for a good part of the night (the baby was the last one to come down with it that night). Everything was just awesome! I loved that I had the strength to care for my family again, that my children were all energetic and eating normal breakfast food before school, and that Daddy was healthy enough to go back to work too.

When we left for school, it was super humid. And, I did not complain! I rolled down the windows of the minivan and went with it! No complaining…just a prayer of thanksgiving for normal! I know that I take it for granted way too often.

I caught myself slipping back into my old ways this morning (maybe we had a bit too much “normal” yesterday…ha!). My 3-year-old had his end-of-the-year program at preschool. And, God love the little children, but I had some errands that I really wanted to get done during this time. And, the humidity didn’t feel so lovely this morning!

But then I remembered what was happening at my Parish this morning…the same time as my son’s program. A funeral was celebrated for a precious 3-year-old girl who died suddenly of cardiac arrest during a seizure. I started praying for this family and that this sweet angel will powerfully intercede for her family this day (and always).

Yup…normal is a very special gift! I DO know this. I just need to be reminded frequently when life with my little ones gets too intense.

Blessed Mother, please bless us all with gifts of grace to appreciate the everyday blessings (those we recognize and those we do not). Please bless us with graces to endure all the hardships (and stomach bugs!) that come our way. Please pray for our children’s health, safety, and well-being. And, most especially, be with all mothers who are suffering the loss of normal. Amen.

Copyright 2014, Trish Bolster

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