Normally, I wake up bright-eyed and ready to take on whatever looms ahead. But this morning, after spending the prior evening filling out fifteen bajillion triplicate duplicate forms for three different schools and eight different children, if I ever were to take up coffee, this would be the day. (It took forever).
My fourth grader did not spend the evening doing her weight in paperwork, so she got up talking and planning projects. I kept swallowing my irritation and murmuring incoherent adult responses like “Mmmmm. Really? Okay.” She followed me from room to room, offering a nonstop commentary, what she dreamed last night, what she hoped to do today, what she wanted for lunch, how she planned to spend the afternoon and I knew it was full innocence on display. I took myself to my room to avoid quashing her enthusiasm for the day.
In the bedroom, I found this month’s Magnificat. Reading the litany about work, there it was, plain for me to see. “From the temptation to complain….From the temptation to impatience….from the temptation to give into weariness.” To make sure I didn’t miss it (I was sleepy), there were additional petitions; “for the grace to be energetic and committed, for the grace to offer up all tedium and drudgery, for the grace to be attentive to those in need, for the grace to be patient and understanding.” The book might have well have said, “FOR THE GRACE FOR SHERRY TO GET IT!” Mercifully, it was sufficient, and while I still shuffled through the morning, the irritation that plagued my start up, and might have quashed my daughter’s spirit (she wears her heart on her sleeve), left.
A diet Coke and a drop-off of all but the youngest later, I sat to write this post. I’d just finished typing the petitions word for word from the Magnificat when my 4-year-old insisted I watch the dancing rabbits doing the can-can on the sun. Three times later, I felt the familiar temptation to push off the request of my daughter, “Look! This is crazy! Isn’t it crazy?” she asked. I nodded. “Thanks for showing me the dancing bunnies.” I said. She nodded, pleased, and said, “Since you love it, here’s the dancing kitty song.” Three video viewings later, I felt I may have to re-pray the petitions or rewrite this post. “Watch the robot….Let’s play sleeping queens. Can you read me a story?” My four-year-old echoed the litany of requests/ideas of the 4th-grader. So I read further into my book. “In God alone is my soul at rest.” It was true. I felt at peace reading the psalm, as at peace as I’d felt agitated. I read further. The next reading said, “Come to me all you who labor and I will give you rest.”
It was hard to shake the idea, God’s laughing at me even as He’s promising, “You’ll make it.” A diet Coke and some emergency chocolate later, and I’m thinking…okay. “Let’s make a list and get to it.” Sometimes small successes are not giving in to temptations, or at the very least, finding ways to try and avoid temptation. My goal for tonight’s small success….get to bed on time.
Copyright 2015 Sherry Antonetti.