Wednesday, June 25, 2008

My Heart is Full, too

School is done. It's me and the kids. It's fun. It's work. It's annoying. It's terrible. It's tiring. It makes me want to scream. It makes me laugh. It makes me cry. It makes me happy and sometimes it makes me long for work. But it's good. It's exactly what it's supposed to be.

Right now, I feel the stress. I feel the frustration. I feel tired.

I've spent the past two days running around. I've been to two doctors for the same child. Check ups mainly Although, one was the dentist- a first time visit! More on that later. I've been to the park. I've been to see grandma and pop-pop at work. I've been to Wendy's- the drive-thru- twice. I've been to a softball game, the husband's- not mine. I've been to three different gas stations. And the only place I haven't been? The only place I really need to go? The supermarket.

In our travels over the past few days. These days of vacation. I've had at least three people make comments that have made me want to punch them in the face. Mind you, these are people who I would normally show respect to but their words just set me on edge. Their looks drive me C-R-A-Z-Y.

I took the boy to his ear specialist yesterday. This is the doctor that really changed our son's life. He gave him back the gift of hearing. He gave him the ability to breathe through his nose and to smell things. He gave us the gift of no snoring. He has given these gifts to many other people as well. That's why his friggin' office is always packed! The whole visit took about an hour. (That's a positive! We've had to wait two hours or more before!) We headed out and proceeded to wait for the elevator.

Those of you with at least two children and the double stroller, aka 18 wheeler, know that getting into normal sized spaces can be difficult. Getting into the elevator was proving to be quite difficult. Around our 7th minute of waiting and letting three elevators go by because people didn't want to make room we encountered my first potential victim. An elderly woman. A woman who seemed nice enough. She engaged my children in conversation. She smiled at them and "played" with them while waiting for her elevator. Then, as I was making sure my son didn't take his bright blue lollipop and stick it to the carpet or very nice wall in the doctor's building, she said it. " My goodness they're so close in age! You must have your hands QUITE full!"

I stopped. Dead.

"Actually, they're two years apart. Not too close." And then I chuckled at her hands full comment. She didn't respond just smiled for a moment more. The elevator arrived and you know what she did? She got on an empty elevator with one other person and before I could maneuver my Mack truck of a stroller over she closed the elevator door on me and my full hands.


So, we waited. My blood boiled and eventually my attention turned back to the fact that my three old had wrangled himself out of the 5 point harness and onto the floor. Awesome. My hands overflowed.

Today was the dentist. I love our dentist. Seriously, he's great. I love most of the hygienists in his office, they're friendly and remember just about everything about you and are so gentle on your teeth! This was the boy's first ever dentist visit. I was nervous. He wasn't. He was a STAR! It went great! Our hygienist carefully cleaned his teeth and kept him calm and enthralled with all the tools and toys. Then the dentist came in. My next victim.

He said hello. Took care with my little guy. Gently lifted him right ways in the chair. Showed him his special "flashlight" and started taking a look at his teeth. He chatted with me briefly and then gave the boy a pat on the head. Then he saw my daughter, whining from having to sit in her stroller for an hour, playing with her brand new toothbrush. "How old is she?" He asked, already knowing that the boy is 3.

"She's 15 months." I replied, anticipating what was coming.

"Oh wow! You must have your hands full! Who gives you more of a run for your money?" He chuckled as he uttered the dreaded words.

Rather than saying, I don't have any money-I have two kids and I teach high school. I said, "Well, she's really all over him at this point so it's pretty equal." And we finished our conversation while I kept my grip on the stroller handles to make sure I didn't wrap them around his newly thinned out neck!

You know what? My hands are full. They are full because my children are energetic and wonderfully fun. They are full because life is stressful regardless of whether or not your kids are 12 months, 24 months, or 120 months apart. They are full because my son likes to pick dandelions and rocks and hand them to me and tell me he loves me. They are full because my daughter likes to pick up the little pieces of dirt or food on the floor that my vacuum has missed and hand them to me. My hands are full because God has blessed me with two wonderful children who often run me completely and totally ragged but at the end of the day come to me and fill my arms and heart with love.

I sat at lunch today with my parents and my kids and I shared my encounters of well meaning, but often annoying individuals and their comments, and I realized that my hands will always be full and I am so incredibly lucky for that. I think of what my hands used to be full of and it does not even come close to what they are full of now.

Yes, my hands are full. Yes, it's a lot of work having two kids. It's a lot of work having one kid. It's a lot of work having more than two. Yes, my life is hectic. Yes, I'd love a day where I don't wake up to poop or cranky babies with molars coming through. Yes, I'd love a moment on the toilet where someone isn't banging on the door asking for juice boxes or candy. But at the end of the night when my arms are full and my heart has burst from all the love I've received it makes the rest of the crap go away. It makes the fullness of my hands seem like nothing.

Yes, my hands are full. Yes, I'm tired. Yes, I long for work some days. Yes, I crave a moment alone sometimes. Yes, it's only the beginning of the Summer.

Yes, my hands are full and I am eternally grateful for that and you should be too because if they weren't so full I'd punch you in the face! Or my kid would!


zoeyjane said...

I get a lot of those kind of comments when people observe Isobel. And she's only one child. I'm not as polite as you, and I'm bluntly honest, so I tend to answer with a sarcastic 'yeah, I haven't slept in two years, my hair's been in a ponytail for three and I haven't showered in six days. You want her?"

then I stroll away, enjoying the shocked face they made.

LunaNik said...

Oh I get the "wow they're so close in age" too. And actually, I also get asked if they are twins quite often. As the for "hands full" comments...oh yeah, every time I'm telling someone new about my kiddos that's what they say. And now, thanks to this post, I know how to answer them.

Alison said...

great post hands are full too, and my arms are full at night, I wouldn't change a bit of it either!!! I am glad you had a nice hygienist...being one myself I like to hear positive stories!!!

lattemommy said...

My kids are almost the same separation yours are - 3.5 and 1.5 years old. People give me "that look" all the time - the smiling "you're so busy" look overtoned with a smattering of pity for my frazzled appearance. I get told often that I have my hands full. Thanks for the info, I hadn't realized!

I know they're well-meaning. I know they genuinely think my kids are cute. But would they just hold the door, already!

Parallel lives, babe.

The Sports Mama said...

I love that outlook! Believe it or not, I get same "hands full" comment frequently, too, just because I have two very athletically active boys. And I actually HAVE responded on more than one occasion... its not just my hands, its my LIFE that is full, and I wouldn't change anything about it!

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