Being a mom of preschool aged children is exhausting. It just is. There is no getting around it. I have an amazing husband and amazing family of in-laws who help me a lot, and I am still exhausted a good portion of the time.
Yesterday was a full day. I spent the morning raking the yard while the boys played outside and the husband studied. I had planned to go get a haircut (peace at last) while the boys napped, but my husband had a group project at school that meant he had to drop the boys off at my hairdressers' while he went to campus. It was a recipe for disaster that called for only one thing, a bribe. It worked, but after I was done, I had to take two very tired boys to Chick-fil-A to get a milkshake. We got home late, Calvin never napped, and Hobbes screamed himself to sleep in my arms. I was done by dinner time. We all were.
So we had our first ever family movie night. We pulled out the sofa bed, grabbed some blankets and pillows, popped some corn, and watched The Muppet Christmas Carol. I'm not sure Hobbes watched much of the film, but it didn't matter. We had the most amazing hour and a half of being together without interruptions. After the film, the boys were completely content to cuddle with me on the sofa bed. They never go to sleep that easily. I lay there with Hobbes curled up on one side and Calvin on the other, both leaning over to kiss me occasionally until they fell asleep. Today was fun, too. We spent most of the afternoon traipsing around my in-laws' property, jumping on the trampoline, cracking pecans on the bridge near the waterfall, just enjoying the beautiful and unseasonably warm day.
But even in the fun times there are diapers to change and owies to kiss and tired children to carry. There are words of caution to utter and words of love to whisper. There are shoes to tie and spilled drinks to clean up and rocks to take out of mouths. There are popcorn kernels to clean out of the couch and stained clothes to spray and throw in the hamper for one more load of laundry. There are bites to count at dinner and small bodies to scrub clean. So much of my life is taking care of others, and even on a great weekend like this one, I enter the new week tired.
This is what was going through my head when we came back to my in-laws' for dinner this evening. I sat for a moment of peace while the boys dumped out the treasure chest of Duplos. It wasn't long before I heard Hobbes' little voice, "Mama! Mama! Mama!" I looked over to see what he wanted. He had turned on my mother-in-law's foot massager and was pointing to her chair. "Mama, chair. Mama, chair." He wanted me to sit down at her chair and put my feet in the massager. I was happy to oblige. As soon as I sat down, Calvin ran over. (Oh, no! what did he want? Just a minute of peace, please.) "Mommy, I just want you to relax right now." And it gets better. At bedtime, Calvin kept leaning over to give me kisses. At one point, he put his little arms around my neck, gave me as big a hug as his undersized three-year-old body could muster, and said, "I'm just taking care of you." Sometimes, just sometimes, the world turns upside down in the most wonderful of ways.