31 Moments of Motherhood

Scene 25: The Road Trip

Posted by on Nov 15, 2012 in 31 Moments of Motherhood, perspective | 0 comments

Find all of my 31 Moments of Motherhood posts here.

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[Lights come up on a woman sitting in a chair with a bag at her feet.]

Me

“Everyone ready to go? Okay…let’s pray before we leave. ‘Dear God, help us to survive this nine hour trip without whining, crying, traffic, or carsickness. Amen'”

[Pulls bag to her.]

Me

“This is everything we will need for our trip.”

[Pulls out each item as she mentions it.]

“iPad with brand new Disney Jr. episodes loaded onto it.”

“Leapster Explorer with extra batteries.”

“Nook Color all charged up and ready to go.”

“Water for two kids.”

“Juice for the other kid.”

“Snacks. Lots of them.”

“Books for when I feel guilty about the electronic devices.”

“Tylenol for the crick in my neck from turning around.”

“Sea bands for my carsick-prone kiddo.”

“Carsickness kit if the sea bands don’t work.”

“DVD player for when the rest of the electronic devices lose their appeal.”

“Paper and crayons.”

“A pile of activity books we won’t use.”

“Random gadgets and toys.”

“Everyone’s blankies.”

“Backup blankies.”

“Change of clothes if we miss the rest area bathrooms.”

“Baby wipes.”

“Car Bingo.”

Music CDs…Patch the Pirate, Mickey Mouse, and Veggietales.”

“More Tylenol for after listening to Mickey Mouse for two hours straight.”

“Headphones for the 10th viewing of Imagination Movers.”

[Stops. Takes a breath. Sighs.]

Me

“And then…we stop for lunch.”

[Lights down.]

Scene 24: The Bathroom – Part 2

Posted by on Nov 10, 2012 in 31 Moments of Motherhood, perspective | 0 comments

Find all of my 31 Moments of Motherhood posts here.

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[Lights come up on a closed toilet facing stage right, with a free-standing door in front of it, wide open. Woman on a phone comes walking onstage, plugging her ears as she tries to talk to someone on the other end of the line.]

Me

“Hello? What did you say? Yes, I have an account with AT & T…”

[aside, in a loud stage whisper] “Kids…I’m trying to talk on the phone…can you please go wrestle somewhere else?”

“What? Hello?!?”

[Goes through bathroom door, closes it, and sits down on the toilet.]

Me

“Yes, I’m here. I have a question about a charge on my bill.”

Kid [offstage]

“I have to go to the bathroom! I have to go to the bathroom!”

[Stands up, leaves bathroom to let kid go inside, and closes door.]

Me

“My account number? Let me find that…” [walks offstage] 

[Comes back, plugging ears again, and goes back inside bathroom.]

Me

“I couldn’t find my account number, can you find it another way?”

[Loud knocking]

Me

Never mind.

[Hangs up. Lights down.]

Scene 23: The Baby Clothes

Posted by on Nov 8, 2012 in 31 Moments of Motherhood, perspective | 2 comments

Find all of my 31 Moments of Motherhood posts here.

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[Lights come up on a woman sitting on the ground, plastic bins overflowing with baby clothes around her. She folds and organizes while she talks.]

Me

“Every six months or so, I sit down with a gigantic pile of clothes that the kids have grown out of, and organize them by size and season. I button all the buttons, zip all the zippers, and stack them into neat piles. Then, I seal them tightly into extra-large ziploc bags and put them into Rubbermaid bins that I buy on sale after the most recent holiday. Orange and black for Halloween…green and red for Christmas. I put labels on the bins with the sizes, which almost always curl up on the edges and pop off inconveniently, and then I lug them to closets and basements for storage.”

“Or at least that is what I did.”

“As my youngest child gets older, I don’t need to keep dozens of bins of clothes that no one will ever fit in again. What’s the point, right? But here I sit, trying to sift through what to donate, what to sell, and what to give to my sister…I can’t seem to let go.

[Holds up a baby outfit.]

Me

“This little number? My daughter wore this at my grandparent’s anniversary party, and had an exploding diaper all over my grandma’s white dress pants. That was quite the adventure, especially for my grandma.”

[Holds up a plaid hat.]

Me

“And this hat? My son wore this all summer long when he was a baby. I can still remember his sweet smile as we sat on the beach at Lake Michigan, with his little plaid hat perched on his head.”

[Holds up a worn sleeper.]

“And all three of my kids wore this sleeper – you can’t get rid of the infamous zippered green sleeper…perfect for middle of the night  diaper changes when you can’t see to fasten snaps.”

[Smells the sleeper.]

“I can still catch a whiff of that baby smell…breast milk and diaper cream, baby shampoo and spit-up…and I don’t know if I can let these little icons of their childhood go. There is something about the feel of that little terrycloth sleeper in my fingers that brings me back to the glider in the corner of the nursery.”

“So, I will take the worn t-shirt that was my son’s favorite when he was two, the pilled dress that my daughter wore constantly, and their ‘coming home from the hospital’ outfits…and I’ll button the buttons, zip the zippers, and stack them into neat piles. I’ll seal them tightly into extra-large ziploc bags and try to fit them into just one Rubbermaid bin. I’ll put a label on the bin that says, ‘Baby Memories’,  hoping that it doesn’t peel off too quickly, and lug it downstairs to put on a shelf.”

“And someday, on a day when my kids are taller than me, when their life revolves around school and sports and jobs, I’ll pull it down and crack it open. I’ll pull out that little green sleeper and feel the terrycloth once more, remembering that moment when they fit in the corner of my arm. I’ll sit and sniff the fabric, hoping for one more whiff of that elusive baby smell, and maybe I’ll cry a few tears…like I am now.”

[Closes the lid of the bin, all the clothes packed away. Stands up, picks up the bin, and walks off the stage. Lights down.]

Scene 22: The {Failed} Balancing Act

Posted by on Nov 6, 2012 in 31 Moments of Motherhood, perspective | 0 comments

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[Lights come up on a woman holding a wooden pole with a bucket hanging from each end. One is full of home-related items like Windex, laundry detergent, baby toys, and groceries and the other is overflowing with paperwork, a leather briefcase, and various electronic gadgets.]

Me

Three kids and a husband. A couple part-time jobs. Volunteering at school. Reading my Bible. Managing the house. Relationships. Birthday presents. iPhone updates. Grocery shopping. Watering the plants. Scrubbing the toilets. Ironing. Writing blog posts. Volunteering at church. Funding school lunch accounts. Cooking dinner.

[Starts to stagger under the weight of the wooden pole.]

Me

Finding a flexible career path. Determining educational needs for kids. Making homemade birthday treats. Leading multiple Bible studies. Contributing to the household income. Finding extra-curricular experiences for kids.

Doing it all and doing it perfectly.

[Falls down to her knees.]

Me

Overdrawn lunch accounts. Library Fines. Forgetting speech rubrics at home. Snapping at the kids. Exhaustion.  Neglected relationships. Last minute birthday gifts. Over-stimulation. Wilted plants. Undone tasks. Too many jobs. Not enough time. Defeated. Overwhelmed. Imperfect.

[Pushes off the weight and it clatters to the floor. Digs Bible out from the bottom of one of the buckets and opens it up.]

Me

Help.

[Lights down.]

Scene 21: The Toddler Bed

Posted by on Nov 4, 2012 in 31 Moments of Motherhood, perspective | 0 comments

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[Lights come up on a toddler bed with a woman laying awkwardly with her feet hanging over the edge. She unfolds herself uncomfortably and sits up on the edge of the bed.]

Me

[Groaning] “I have spent the last several months jamming myself into this toddler bed with my youngest daughter, snuggling before bedtime, taking her back to bed when she wakes up in the middle of the night, and ending up with pins and needles in my feet and a crick in my neck for my efforts.”

[Stands up and limps toward the front of the stage, stomping out the “pins and needles”.]

Me

“I keep telling myself that I need to get tough…let her cry it out…work through this middle of the night ‘stuff’, but honestly, I just can’t bring myself to do it. She’s the last of our kids that I can still lift with one arm. She is the last of our kids that still needs her mommy to help her fall asleep. She is the last of our kids that fits in a toddler bed.”

“I didn’t have any problem when she was done nursing or even when she was done potty training, but the feeling of her little hand in mine while she drifts off to sleep? I am not ready to give it up, even as much as I yawn and complain about my sleep deprived state and my frustrations with her sleeping habits.”

[Sits back down on the toddler bed]

Me

“My kids still need me…they will always need me. But the challenges of broken relationships and unruly emotions unleashed in the harsh sunlight seem so much weightier when I compare them to meeting the primal needs of warmth and comfort in the soft light of the pink flower night lights hanging on the bedroom wall.”

“So I keep rolling out of bed, stumbling to my daughter’s side when she cries, and wedging myself under her small square of a quilt. I take her hand, whisper that it is going to be okay, and wait quietly while she drifts off to sleep, knowing that she is not alone.”

“That is what I do, for this wisp of a girl who still needs her mom at night.”

[Lights down as she lays back down on the toddler bed.]

Scene 20: The Bedtime Story

Posted by on Nov 3, 2012 in 31 Moments of Motherhood, perspective | 2 comments

Find all of my 31 Moments of Motherhood posts here.

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[Lights come up on a woman sitting in a glider, with a side table stacked high with children’s books. She is holding the book, Goodnight Moon.]

Me

“I love bedtime stories. When my kids were babies, we would snuggle up in our glider and I would read some…

okay…a lot of my favorites like,

‘…Goodnight room…Goodnight moon…Goodnight cow jumping over the moon…Goodnight light…and the red balloon…’

We would read and rock…and rock and read, and then read some more.”

[Stands up and sits down on the floor, cross-legged.]

Me

“As the kids grew, and the length of the books grew too, the conversation around bedtime stories changed too….

‘…only two books, kiddos…and not the dinosaur book with all the crazy names, and not the seek and find 1000 things on the farm…it is too late for those ones.’

We would read…and they would squirm…and I would grimace when they would pick the longest books possible, but we would snuggle and answer questions and talk…”

[Stands up, grabs a book, and walks toward the stage.]

Me

“And then my oldest started reading on her own, and there were some nights when I would say,

‘Does anyone want to read with me?’

And all I would hear was pages swishing as they looked at and read their own books.”

[Sits back down in the glider.]

Me

“Bittersweet, this trip called motherhood….Tough, this madness called growing up.”

“But thankfully, those moments where I feel like I’m back at the ‘beginning’ still come. When all three kids gather around me while I read a book from those baby years, happy recognition reflected in their smiles. When I open the book with the well-worn pages, and start to read once more,

‘…Goodnight room…Goodnight moon…Goodnight cow jumping over the moon…Goodnight light…and the red balloon.'”

[Lights down.]

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