My Welcome Home

Originally posted on Friday, March 2, 2012

The last two days were spent commuting to Harrisburg for teacher in service.  Though I came home in between the days of work (which, incidentally, were pleasantly organized and probably one of the more enjoyable in-services that I’ve attended) the kiddos didn’t see me, as they were already tucked into bed.  Today I was up at 5:00 and out the door at 6:00 to get back to in-service a bit early so I could man the sign in table.  The two days of driving, packing, and mixed up sleep patterns had totally caught up with me and coming home tonight around 6:00 I was completely exhausted. 
I am ashamed to admit that I looked at the broken clock in the car, added an hour and then realized maybe I could stop by a store and do some window browsing thus arriving back home after the kids were in bed again.  A night alone seemed infinitely more appealing and easier than a night with four kids.
Do you think I’m horrid now?!?  I don’t blame you, I think that’s pretty horrid too.  It’s just that their energy, their collective energy would so far exceed what I was capable of at this particular moment, I thought perhaps I’d wither in a corner - or worse snap at them for something they didn’t even do.  Even so, I drove home, mostly driven by guilt for Tony, left at home on his own.  I entered the house a bit slowly... wearily.
I opened the garage door to see all four kids sitting down for dinner, broccoli and grilled cheese crusts littered the floor. All four looked over at the door, cheese in their hair, crumbs on their mouths and yelled:  “HI MOMMY!!!”  with four of the biggest smiles I’d seen in two days.  Tony was at the stove, dolling out seconds of soup and warming up a plate for me.  What a welcome... who could ever regret coming home to this?!?
And so I shrugged out of my coat, dropped my bags, kissed the tops of heads and jumped into mom mode... Alex was escaping and needed to be washed up, which set Jack on edge as he wasn’t currently receiving the bulk of the cuddles... Jack got washed, Emma got washed, I scraped up some food from the floor on impulse before my dear husband forced me into a chair to eat dinner.  All the while I listed to stories of their days, watched messes emerge out of nowhere, and felt at peace.  I was still exceedingly tired, but my mood was so drastically improved.  

Jackson Oliver 3/2
It’s that amazing bit of kid magic that your children have... the ability to influence your mood with their moods. Alex shoving a 1/2 a  head of broccoli in his mouth at one time followed by his giggle and head shake can dissolve us into giggles even as we’re picking the pieces off the floor... Jacks squeals of delight over discovering a long lost toy, Emma and Bella’s spontaneous songs and dances lightened my mood.  And though there is nothing that erases the permanent state of tired that I walk around in... I never regret coming home 

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