Thursday, October 14, 2010

Blessed to be Crazy

Once in a while, I beg for the opportunity to do something without my children. Usually some errand running. It goes by so quickly when I am not constantly counting heads, buckling and unbuckling car seats, retrieving sippy cups and pacifiers, stopping for diaper changes and potty breaks, and convincing children that the three or four stops we have left aren't that bad, really!
You see, six of the children, the ones that are at home with me all day, are too young to be left in the vehicle to wait-even if the parking space is directly in front of a very small business with windows all across the front and my stop is less than 5 minutes. It's the law, and people do not hesitate to pass judgment and/or call authorities when they perceive child endangerment!

I recently left the house without my children. It wasn't something that I particularly wanted to do. I was attending a funeral. For a newborn. Funeral receptions are social. I discovered that I don't know what to do with myself when my children are not present. No one's hand to hold. No one asking to be picked up. No one to rush off and change a diaper for, or take to the bathroom. No to clean up a spill for, or fill a plate for. No one to help eat or assist with a cup. No one to tell "sit down" or "Shhh" or "Please help your brother/sister".

While I have long envisioned this as being a short moment of relief, and the ability to return to "myself" (whomever that may be...) I had an unpleasant jolt of realization.

I do not know how to act without my children in tow. I don't know what to do with my hands, where to look, whether to sit or stand. I don't know how to get through a buffet without carrying more than one plate. More importantly, I don't know how to communicate! I am used to conversations interrupted and cut off. I am not used to carrying one on! I don't know how to approach a person and introduce myself, because I have no opportunity for it! I don't know how to be anyone other than the Crazy Lady With all the Kids!

As I left my seat to head for the bathroom, I naturally picked up bags, stray socks, a stuffed toy, and headed on my way, realizing as I opened the door, that none of these items belonged to me. I am simply used to packing things around. I walked around a corner and down a hall with these things in my hands. I apologized. Fortunately, my friend also has seven children and completely understands these moments! She was quite gracious as she retrieved her child's trappings from me.

Now you know. If I ever have the opportunity for face to face adult conversation, and I stop mid-sentence, appearing to look for something around the room, it's because I don't yet know how to do it differently for now. And I am blessed to be a little crazy!


janice beckett (mom) said...

It is my belief that you are AMAZING

to prove a point the capsha is Ovation.

kelly said...

well said, mommy of many!!