One thing I am learning and becoming all too aware of as my daughter grows is that motherhood is messy. It’s messy in a literal, physical sense where there are always sticky hand prints around, or toys in the wrong places, or mud trekked in through the house via the soles of little shoes. I am ok with that side of messy. Yeah, I have to clean up the same thing a gazillion times, but still, I can cope with that.
There’s the other side of motherhood that’s messy though and not so easily cleaned up-the emotional side. Ever get those days when everyone just falls apart? Voices rise, tears fall, harsh words come gushing out, doors slam. The mess is nasty, and hard to sort through. It puts cracks in relationships, builds barriers and everything is stressful.
We have had so many of these messy days lately. Developmental changes have brought new challenges for both of us as we try and figure out how to live harmoniously with each other, with our needs and our personalities. Miss E has been fashioned by God’s good hand into a very independent and strong character. All the qualities that are such a difficulty for me right now as her mother, will, one day, stand her in good stead as she ventures off into the world alone. But it’s getting from here to that point that is proving difficult. It’s a fine balancing act and a skilled dance as we figure this whole thing out together, and often we get it all wrong. We fail to understand each other. We fail to communicate with each other in loving ways. We fail to choose loving reactions. Yesterday was one such messy day.
On these messy days, I am thankful for two gifts: GRACE. Grace to try again. Grace to start anew. Grace to change. Rich, abundant grace. Where would we be without it? NATURE. Our happy place. A therapy for the soul. A place we can go together to ease the stresses and rediscover our way on this journey. There is colour therapy given via the flowers and the greenery, music therapy from bird song, the wind, water passing by, raindrops falling. There is peace, time to reflect, time to reconnect. Grace and nature: our balm to soothe away the strife. How do you cope with the messy days of parenting? How do you reconnect with your child?
Well, I thought I’d be able to write about the lovely nature walk Miss E and I were to have this morning. We had a little seed bag from Nature Detectives printed off and stuck together to go looking for things like acorns and chestnuts with a group of friends. The weather was lovely for it too.
I put Miss E down early for a nap as I wanted her to have at least an hour before we left otherwise she would miss out on her nap and she didn’t sleep so well. She went straight to sleep and I had trouble waking her up. I almost left her sleeping and cancelled, but as we had already missed two other events this week due to circumstances, I decided we needed to go.
About 10 minutes from our destination in the middle lane coming up to a roundabout just after being on a dual carriage way, I needed to change down gears and slow down to come up to the roundabout. Horror of horrors there was this awful grinding noise and NO GEARS. I tried every single gear while braking to no avail. I whacked on the hazards, and came to a standstill about 2 car lengths from the roundabout.
I was now in a dangerous place with a child in the back who could get smashed into at any moment with no way of getting us tot he side of the road or out of the car. Cars kept streaming past us on both sides. I had no info on our breakdown cover so needed to get in touch with Mr P, but he was unavailable. The moment I thought he could be in a meeting and may be in that meeting for a very long time and I would have no way of getting us rescued panic started to creep up on me slowly.
Just as my mind was about to unravel a man pulled up beside me in the other lane and asked if I wanted him to push the car in to the side so we wouldn’t be in harms way. Relief! At least I wouldn’t be a target any more. He and his friend pushed us in under the bridge and up the curb. Shortly after that I finally managed to get in touch with Mr P so he could sort out breakdown recovery. Then I had to get Miss E out of the car and walk on some very dicey parts of the road to get to McDonalds which was thankfully not too far from where we broke down.
We sat there and awaited Mr P and the RAC’s arrival. We got home safe and sound, and now we have plans for the weekend….trying to find a new car. We have been holding off, hoping we could ditch the two and get one good car when we are able to move, but there comes a point when constant major repairs are just too much and it’s all too unsafe.
I am thankful for God’s protection on us today and all week. I was quite annoyed at having had to miss the other two events, but looking back I can see the Hand of Providence. Both those journeys were rather long and involved motorway driving (not a place I’d like my clutch to go-yes that was the issue in the end not my gearbox), and also mr P is out of the country for a few days next week when I would have had to make one of those long journeys again. I would have been totally stranded then as we have no one near us who could’ve rescued me.
And, now to unwind from the days events. Did you have any adventures this fine Friday?!