Pink Snow and Spinning Plates

Carl is gone this weekend to Adrian College for the church’s annual conference. He’s such an amazing husband and all-around good man. Let’s just say that the girls and I miss him terribly when he’s gone. He does SO MUCH to help around here. Maybe I should say that I do SOME to help HIM around here. He’s just that fabulous an individual.

This morning, the girls and I got around and walked poor Kody Dog before breakfast. When we returned home. we notice the tree in front of our house, laden with pink blossoms, was giving up some of it’s petals. I shook a branch, and it came down like a falling of snow on top of the girls. They were so charmed by it, and so happy and giggling, that I shook more and more branches, until everything I could reach was bereft of the beautiful pink flowers.

Across the street, one of our favorite neighbors, Mr. Rick, had been standing there, watching us. Very sweetly, he said, “Aw, you should have had a picture of that, Jenny.” I may not have taken a mental snapshot of the moment without his mentioning it. I pray that when the girls are old and gray, that is one of their favorite memories of me.  We laughed so much.

Later on, because my dryer is currently on the injured list, we went to a laundromat. Boy I really don’t like those at all. But we went, and I got 4 loads finished in just under two hours, which NEVER ever happens here usually. To be honest, I haven’t taken care of it all yet. But it’s all washed and dried. I didn’t know until the end, when you use their debit-card-type of payment (which you must), you can add more than 25 cents worth of drying time at once. So I had 7 dryers going at once, for 7 minutes each. I’d remove some clothing, fold it, and then restart a dryer…. all because I didn’t know that you could add all the time at once. Not that I’d asked anyone.  It felt very much like spinning plates, trying to keep them all from dropping.

The rest of the day was decent. We went out for lunch, and then to a birthday party at Chucky Cheese. Afterward we went to Target, where 5-year-old Annalise descended into a tantrum unmatched by all of her previous ones. She’d wanted one item, and thought she could have that, AND another. I made it clear that it was either/or, so she made her choice and then cried. She changed her mind and cried more. She changed her mind and cried harder. Reason wasn’t even in her vocabulary, and eventually I took all treats away from her, and we walked to the checkout with what Vaeh and I had.

Annalise. Oh sweet baby who makes her Mama’s hearts swell over the silliest things…. that little one had me hanging by a thread at the Target cash register line. She was having arguably the worst tantrum of her life, and I kept calm, mostly ignoring her and redirecting when I could. Then out in the parking lot, a woman probably my Mom’s age approached me and said, “I must commend you for the way you handled your daughter and yourself in there. She will thank you for standing your ground one day.”

The weight of the world lifted off my shoulders.

It took almost no effort for her to say that, and yet it meant the world to me. Surely, it was from God. You simply cannot know how “at the end of your rope” you can get, until you’re in a crowded area with a kid having a tantrum.

Then I called my parents and thanked them for striking up conversations with strangers, because it just may have saved a kid’s life.

God is good. He gives me more than I could think or imagine. I love Him fully.

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