I was on my way home this afternoon, exhausted by a severe lack of sleep, feet aching from working the consignment sale all morning that has consumed my last few weeks, when I came to the light before my neighborhood. In my tired fog, I caught a glimpse of a horse, happily munching away on a weed he had gotten a hold of through his barbed wire boundary. I was mesmerized by this brilliant animal, fawn in color, shoulders tall and square, coat smooth and shiny in the warm Texas sun.
I watched his mouth, chewing fiercely, pulling at the weed, deeply embedded and long veined, from under the fence. His lips flapping happily over his find and he shook his head, sending his mane into a majestic, slow motion tussle. Blissfully unaware of bills, deadlines, sleep exhaustion and responsibilities. I studied him with a smile on my lips, admiring his beauty, his elegance, and his grandeur – easily evident in his pasture.
I watched as he lifted his tail…
and took a crap.
And laughed and laughed and laughed!
Come on – that is funny!
That is how it goes, isn’t it? Just when things seem to be going right, are comfortable and blissfully uncomplicated, something happens and crap ruins the moment!
Times in my Mothering are no exception.
Some days, I simply sit and admire. Three beautiful girls, all in a row, happily playing with each other, showing me that it can be done. Laughter and togetherness evident for me to drink in. The clothes, if they are even wearing them – Sarah – are messy and wrinkled, their mouths unwashed, but their hands are busy with something other than hitting or throwing – so who cares? These are my horses in the sunshine. My ponies of entrancement that I stop to watch, admire and revel in.
Until that trance is broken by a pile of crap.
Whining, hitting, yelling, fighting, and screaming – all crap.
Crap that has to be dealt with, shoveled, disposed of and managed! The poop of mothering, if you will.
But this stuff is worse that what is found in diapers and Pull – ups. I can’t just Febreze the room and it all be covered in a crisp linen scent. I can’t wrap it in a plastic bag, walk it out to the trash cans and hide it securely under the lid. I can’t do anything but deal with it.
Some days, I handle it well. I am consistent, firm, unwavering in my disposal of the situation. Other days, my parenting is worse than the aroma that is sure to linger long after I concede and let the natives take over. Singeing my nasal passages and reminding me that I should never, ever, inhale when dealing with rancid situations.
But in the end, despite the pile of insanity that persistently presents a challenge to my daily routine, forcing me to be creative beyond my intelligence and patient beyond my wisdom, I deal with the crap.
Because no one else is going to.
And if I don’t pick up the crap, the beauty and elegance will be harder to see.