We've had a week. I feel like so much of what I write on this blog is the "sunshine and cupcakes" mentioned in this post on Salon.com that everyone was reading and talking about two weeks ago.
And you know, my life has a lot of sunshine, and we eat a lot of proverbial cupcakes. I often catch myself wondering what in the heck I ever did to deserve to be as blessed as I am. Life is good, we are very very happy, and so much of our joy comes from knowing what we know about who we are, our Heavenly Father, the precious gift of the Atonement, and the eternal nature of families.
On Monday last week, Kent's employer announced what their bonus would be this year. It was a good year for the company, and thus a good year for a bonus.
We went to get pizza take-out to celebrate. On the way home, right before we turned down our street, a quick little deer ran straight into the side of our car. It scared us (mostly just me), but we didn't have to pull over or anything, just continued home.
Our car was dented-the driver's door now only opens about 10 inches, but it seemed like everything else was okay. And hey, we're fairly small people, we can squeeze through.
Two nights later, when Kent was on his way to the Cub Scout pack meeting, the car's headlights both went out.
We simply didn't drive after dark for the next two days.
On Friday we took the car to the auto parts store to get the headlights replaced. In the process, something happened with the fuses (maybe?) and now the car won't accelerate.
Okay, so we squeeze in, then drive slowly. We've had worse in our lives (gold 1985 toyota wonder wagon, anyone?). Kent took the car in on Saturday morning to get it fixed. What we thought would be a little problem with a belt or something ended up being 5 broken motor mounts (at $300 a piece this was no longer an easy quick fix).
The car is in the shop all day Saturday, so we're stuck home, without all the supplies we need to get started on the tile in our bathroom. But we made the best of it, really.
On Sunday, Nicholas and I stayed home from Church because he has a cold that I don't want to share with anyone. Kent got pulled over on his way home after Church. Our new registration cards and insurance cards haven't arrived yet. Expired registration, incorrect address on driver's license, and no insurance. $700-ish ticket. (We hope they'll drop it when he goes to court with proof that we did have current registration and insurance at the time.)
Kent stayed home on Monday and got all the tile layed. It is really looking good, by the way. He's wonderful to do all of that work.
Tuesday was probably the 2nd hardest day I've ever had with Nicholas. And really, it was probably my fault.
He only wants to eat crackers and treats. So yesterday I put all the treats away and if he didn't eat what I was offering him (foods that he normally loves-toast, strawberries, yogurt, etc.), that was all he got. But not getting his crackers and fruit snacks was something he just couldn't understand.
And he's gotten much smarter all of the sudden, which means that life is suddenly much more frustrating for him. He doesn't want me making all of his choices for him, so I do my best to give him other options:
"Instead of playing with the scissors, why don't you play with this, or that, or that?" but of course he knows better and what he really wants is to play with every single thing in this house that he simply cannot for safety reasons. (I've stopped saying no for mess reasons-I'd rather clean up a puddle of water after he's done making "soup" than listen to him cry about it.)
And it was too cold for our usual escape-walking to the park. We were stuck in the house together and we weren't happy about it.
But me, I wasn't a good mom yesterday. I lost my temper. More than once or twice. I ran out of patience.
I tried tickling, dancing, wrestling, and singing with him to cheer myself up, and that worked for a while, but soon he was crying again, and soon,
I was crying too.
I wasn't the mother that Nicholas needs me to be. For the first time (probably of many to come) I felt like I had failed motherhood that day. It wasn't a happy feeling.
the sunshine and cupcakes.
I know who I am, and I know that I have a loving Father in Heaven.
So, I prayed. I prayed and cried and prayed some more. And I read the scriptures.
And this morning, I woke up.
I am the same person I was yesterday.
Today, though, Nicholas and I are working together instead of against each other.
Today, though, the power is out and we are dancing with flashlights.
Today, though, I feel strength beyond my own. It isn't in a singing choir or a burst of light or a car that is fixed or even in a toddler who eats his breakfast.
It is quiet, deep, and constant. And it is enough.
That is where the sunshine and cupcakes come from.