“Fall seven times. Stand up eight.”
“And the rain, rain, rain came down, down, down…” A.A. Milne has been stuck in my head this entire week, for reasons other than the author ever intended, I’m sure. As Marty and I stood in our basement admitting defeat into the wee hours of the morning, watching water gush out of our sump pump and take over all corners of our downstairs world, I had visions of the chapters from my beloved Pooh books where the characters are swept away by the flood in the Hundred Acre Wood. Call it sleep deprivation, coping skills, or — as G says, “Momma, you’re just weird yike dat.”
Marty’s sleeping this morning. Damn, the guy needs it. He averaged about two to three hours a night this week. I’m going to be our cheerleaders right now, because this family did pretty darn fantastic. Nobody missed a second of work — and our jobs are pretty darn intense. We all kept smiles on our faces, kept incredibly positive attitudes, no one fought, no one moped, and the only glitch in our schedule was a forgotten back pack on Friday and G’s missed soccer practice (though we were at the rainy field the entire two hours for Max’s practice). This family did one hell of a job — by the grace of God, only by the grace of God — I’m not taking credit for any of it. He truly carried all of us.
Because the old “us” would have been an entirely different story. Marty and I would have been at each other. I would have been a grouchy mess. I would have also been a bawling mess. An Eeyore of a “why oh why oh why God us?” mess. But we were none of these things. We pulled together. We didn’t look down, we looked up to Him.
Stepping back, I realize in so much awe and amazement how much God is growing this little family of ours. He is SO growing us. It makes me smile from the bottom of my toes all the way out of my noggin — cause you can smile that big, ya know. And I can take that huge joy away from all of this — that while Marty and I were frantically trying to save our house, we were praising God for our blessings instead of taking our stress out on each other. We were actually counting our blessings — specific blessings — in the midst of all the chaos. That, friends, is crazy growing for us. Crazy, intense, growing. This girl is praising God to no end for that. If it takes a flood taking out my basement for us to see how far we’ve come together, so be it, Lord.
Not that in the last few days Marty and I haven’t had a few moments of sadness. Especially when the “fire and water” cleaning crew came and demolished our basement. Not gonna say that was easy. It was a little rough walking downstairs after they left. It kind of all sunk in after that. The damage was worse than they had initially thought, so they had to call in more help — and that made it sink in more for us. It’s crazy to have part of your home just completely pulverized — just gone — and to have to start completely over — while the remnants of it are all over the rest of your house. And you’re not sure what you have left that’s salvageable — clothes, seasonal decorations, appliances — the arduous process of going through all of that stuff — and some of that process is just waiting and seeing if and what dries out. It’s a lot of hard work — it’s a lot of waiting — and a lot more hard work. And you just kind of want it all back the way it was — I mean, if you could wave a magic wand and make wishes. And then, what if it all happens again? And complete exhaustion smacks you in the face time and time again.
But you’re there for each other, reminding one another that I have you, you have me, and we have a mighty, mighty God — and you dig your heals in and work some more — and one day, maybe not tomorrow, or the next day, or even next week — but one day, this will all be over. Because God is good, He is always good, and every single day is full of His wonder. And that person toiling across from me, well, he is one of God’s greatest wonders.
Living in chaos is something I can roll with but isn’t one of my strongest suits. I can deal, yes, I can deal — but I tend to start to go a little loony. Bless my Mom and Homer’s heart, they took us in for the day yesterday — fed us, well, stuffed us — let me do laundry all day long (I made a small dent in all of our wet things — I tell ya, I will REALLY appreciate having a washer and dryer at my disposal at all times now — so appreciate) — sent us home with lots of groceries and all things gluten free (thanks so much!!! hadn’t had time to do that and our Costco storage downstairs got all wet too, so thank you, thank you, thank you!!!), and the boys enjoyed getting away from the clutter, the ever present sound of all the fans that have to run non stop till Monday, and just being spoiled and playing outside and going on walks with Grandma and Grandpa (despite the Hawkeye loss–that stunk for Max). Getting up this morning, I was on a mission to “organize” — all the clutter everywhere was driving me bonkers. I have no vacuum cleaner either now, so I started sweeping what I could get around, making some sort of sense of the piles of stuff, and trying not to completely lose my mind. I had been doing well so far — deep breaths…
Then I found a granola bar wrapper on the floor. Why this so unnerved me in the grand scheme of things, I don’t know. I mean, if you could SEE my house, you’d laugh at the ridiculousness of this. I looked at the boys just lounging next to each other on the couch so sweetly — what a week it’s been for them too. “Really, boys? Is THIS where this wrapper goes? On the floor?” Because the rest of the house is a giant disaster zone, but that damn wrapper — that better be in the garbage–right?!? Seriously, insane mommy!!! Max got up and mumbled “So sorry, Mom” threw it away and G ran over and told me how much he loved me. My eyeballs must have been popping out of my head because they both looked a little worried, scared, both… “It’s just that your dad and I have been working our bottoms off trying to keep things clean (you know, the clean you work your ass off to maintain a sense of control that you guys can’t see — thinking this), so I’d appreciate it if you could do your best to pick up after yourselves”. “Sorry, okay. We’ll go play in my room.” And Max got up and G followed. I heard G whisper under his breath to Max as they were going to Max’s room, “Well, I tan still see Momma’s bottun.” And I lost it. I just fell on the couch and started laughing hysterically. At my own ridiculousness. At the entire situation. Ran to Max’s room. Hugged my boys, and thanked them for being who they are. Stupid wrapper. Life is going to be very messy for awhile. Thanks for growing me some more, God. You give us what we need.
And right now I need to go and spend some time with my husband since I didn’t see him yesterday. Take care, and enjoy this sunshine. I know I am. Namaste.
“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.”