Hope Floats


{image c/o elleizahbeth.com}

As parents, it is sometimes hard to connect with our spouse when we have small children.  My husband and I are pretty good about going out on dates regularly, but it’s definitely hard to get away for days at a time.  So when the chance came up to go to New York City on an organized trip with friends/colleagues, we knew we couldn’t pass it up.  We hadn’t left our kiddos for more than two nights before this, so we knew it would be an adjustment for them.  But kids are resilient and usually do better than the parents in situations like these.

It was all worth it, of course.  From a helicopter ride overlooking the city to a Broadway show and a tour of the 9/11 Museum and Memorial, this trip more than delivered.  And it was great for us as a couple to get away and not have to worry about meeting the demands of kiddos for a few days.  Plus as a stay-at-home mom, I was in dire need of a break because the last couple weeks of summer were an absolute doozy.

When I arrived back home, I was so excited to see my little ones – and the feeling was mutual.  I assumed there would probably be some emotional unloading the next day though – I know this from past experiences.  Sometimes it’s so bad, it almost makes you wish you never left in the first place.

The kids did, in fact, deliver on this expectation Monday.  I guess there are some things you can predict in parenting!  Monday probably went down as one of the worst days in all five years of my parenting.  Of course, I’m sure I have selective memory right now – there are definitely some sleepless nights from when they were babies that probably would take the cake.  Regardless – what an awful day we had.  It seemed that there was nothing in my power, not any thought or change of mentality, that could help this dire situation.  I even tried two Starbucks attempts with my youngest (I was dragging from the time change), and was unsuccessful at both.  That’s when you know it’s bad.  (First world problems, I know.)  A full-on meltdown ensued at Target and I was that mom everyone in the checkout lanes was staring at.  I had no choice but to forge ahead because diapers and food are a necessity when you’ve been out of town for nearly a week.

The day ended with all three of us crying, exhausted as can be.  Feelings were shared all around, and I told them that the best part in things like this is that tomorrow is always a new day.  We prayed out loud together and they crashed out soon after that.

It’s days like this that I can’t help but feel utterly defeated.  Every single thing felt hard the entire day.  I constantly go back and forth between wondering what part of this I have the power to change and how much of this is my attitude in the midst of uncontrollable circumstances.  I’m not sure I have the answers.

But I do know that tears are cleansing, and today I woke up to pouring rain – a rarity in Southern California.  I feel like the rain is symbolic of the cleansing power of tears.  We all have emotion to get out and get it out, we did.  Cleansing brings about hope.  Hope that things will be different.  And hope is what I choose to cling to today.




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