Tuesday, February 19

Breaking Plates


      On two mornings a week, Tuesdays and Thursdays, when both Ava and Ella (and myself!) need to be ready and out the door before 8:30 momma gets a little...hmmm....let's say, intense.

    On those mornings I get into a bit of a "zone". It's the make breakfast, make Ava's lunch and snack, make sure everyone has everything they need in their backpacks zone. When I'm in the "zone", watch out. Some crazy drill sergeant lady takes over and starts bellowing about the shenanigans that are going on instead of the breakfast that is supposed to be eaten and how everyone is going to be late and how we all need to eat our food MUCH. MUCH. MORE QUICKLY!

     There is often a loud "YES, you must finish your waffle!" and "NO, you cannot have Smarties right now" and "No! We are NOT WATCHING ANYMORE TELEVISION!" and "Please, please, PUL-EAZE! Stop touching your sister's plate with your fork just to piss her off!"

     Alright...I have NEVER said "piss off", but I won't lie I have definitely been thinking it while scrambling for more...um...appropriate words.

     Does this sound like anyone else's house in the morning?

     I've gotta tell you, there have been many recent mornings when I've realized that it might just be a very specific part of God's plan that I'm not also working outside of the home during this season of life. I don't know how you full-time, work out of the house, moms do it every morning!  Just the thought of needing to dress myself professionally, do something with my hair other than throw a baseball cap over the top of it, and arrive to an office or school or other workplace on TIME makes me...tired.  So blessings, extra prayers and kudos to all of you who are doing that! That's hard stuff.

    There are moments when I think this whole morning routine must get easier with time.  This is, after all, my first year doing it. But then I realize, especially with a baby crying to be fed in the middle of it all next year, that it's only going to get more complicated...at least in the short term.

    I'm often amazed that we do all get dressed, and Ava has NEVER missed the bus (I must get some points for that!) and somehow most of the details usually get remembered.

    Of course there are mornings that they get remembered by the smallest, teeniest, mere fraction of luck...

    Like last Tuesday when, at 8:27 (three minutes before we were supposed to leave), while I was brushing Ella's hair in the bathroom (who was otherwise completely dressed and ready for school) I remembered, by some random sprout of luck, that it was actually "Pajama and Pancake day.

   "Ella!" I shout.

   "What mom?!" she asks startled.

    "You're supposed to wear pajamas to school today!!! Hurry, let's run upstairs and put your pajamas back on!" We run like Olympic sprinters up the stairs to put her princess nightgown back on.

     Then, after I quickly get Ella BACK into her nightgown, I notice two library books lying on the kitchen floor. Two books that Ava was supposed to put in her backpack for library that day and that we somehow inadvertantly stepped over all morning without ever remembering to actually put them in her backpack.

    I scrambled to find a rubber band and a scrap of paper to scribble her name on to and threw them in the car...Fortunately we would be passing Ava's school on the way to preschool and I was able to drop them off.

    Phew...dodged that one too! Ava LOVES to get new books on Tuesdays and would have been sad to sit out while all the other kids picked theirs out. Somehow we even made it to preschool on time.

    I wish I could say this is just mornings in our house, but on some days I think it is just life with children in general...a little nutty, and always on the verge of missing something and moving quickly from one thing to the next.

    I was chatting with Scott the other day and shaking my head as I said, "Some days I feel as if I am trying to spin fourteen plates in the air and I KNOW that some of them are most likely, inevitably, going to fall and crash and break into pieces on the ground...I just never know which ones are going to break!"

    "I know how you feel," he said, "I feel the same way with my job and the people I'm supposed to get back to and tasks I'm supposed to finish and have to leave undone everyday."

    We both pause, raising our eyebrows and simply resigning ourselves to the truth of it all.

    "It's hard," I continued, "Even if there are eleven plates in the air at the end of the day, it's hard to focus on the ones that didn't break...to focus on the wins instead of the losses."

    He shakes his head in full agreement.

    As I think about all of this I am reminded of the plate breaking tradition that I recall reading about at Greek weddings. When I looked the tradition up online one woman said that the tradition (which apparently isn't regularly practiced any longer because of the dangerous shards of glass!) was started as a way to remind the guests that "Hey, who cares about plates, let's enjoy life and the joy of this moment!"

    I'm thinking that maybe we should start some deliberate plate crashing around our house once in a while...just to remind us to enjoy life a little bit more in the process of all of the details. And hey, even if it serves no other purpose, maybe it would catch the girls attention long enough to get them to quiet down and actually eat their breakfast in the mornings!!


  1. This definitely fits our family this past month. Its like I'm running in front of a steam roller and some days I am sitting on top driving it and other days its chasing me, soon to be flattened!!

  2. I'm totally with you on this Lisa! It's a tough thing to figure out...this balance between how many plates you can realistically spin and then not being to hard on yourself when a few hit the floor. I, for one, have been taking a critical look at my schedule lately, trying to figure out which plates I can retire from the act.

    I love how you said, "...to remind us to enjoy life a little bit more in the process of all the details." I know I need those reminders daily. "Oppa!"

    1. Really Rebekah? "too" not "to." That's what I get for not proof-reading :)


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