Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Motherhood is a stream of wiping, consoling, scolding, teaching, exhorting, preaching, fixing and healing. There is nearly always someone sick, making a mess, picking on a sibling or otherwise complicating my images of a lovely home. The more children you have, the less likely that everyone will be happy and healthy at the same time.
I learned early not to look back on the day and evaluate whether it was a good day or a bad day. It is rarely so cut and dried. It could have been a nearly good day, but when the kids took a bath after dinner, they flooded the basement, or some other disaster, that ruins the possibility of calling it a good day.
I decided to take the moments.
And I try to remember them. I make a conscious, "Emily, remember this!" decision and keep a permanent record in my gray matter.
Sunday night was one such moment. It was the last night of Spring Break and we had all had full access to Dad the entire week. (He was amazing last week. Among other things, he changed the hot water tank, cleaned out the back of the dryer, shampooed the carpets and helped keep the house clean. I told him to quit school. It would be worth living on welfare to have him around all of the time!) Justin sat at the computer inputing favorite songs from his childhood while the rest of us danced.
After a few minutes, I found my way to a corner so I could gaze upon the entire scene and cement it in my memory. The house was tidy and the baby was safely diapered for the night. Two of the girls were doing the Tango--not very well, but with a great deal of passion. It reminded me of my sister and I rocking the Polka in the very same way at the very same ages. During a slow song, the oldest sister held her youngest sister and rocked gently across the floor. There was so much love in that embrace. One child is a natural dancer and knew precisely what moves were required for everything from Van Halen's Jump to Suzanne Vega's Tom's Diner.
Everyone was laughing.
So, even though there had been less-than-perfect incidents earlier in the day and there were to be emotional scenes before bed,
there was this moment
when everything was right in our world.
In honor of my oldest brother and for your viewing pleasure, may I present an anthem from my childhood: