Ask any Minnesotan, ask anyone anywhere really, and they’ll tell you — it was a long, bitter winter. The kind of cold that makes it hurt to breathe, that keeps you indoors, even on the super sunny days. (Because they are inevitably the coldest.)
There were days this winter where it felt like spring would never come. During meetings and huddled by (illegal) space heaters in our office space we’d ask each other, “What if this is just how it is here now?” Crunchy snow, icy roads, air so cold it hurts your face.
But spring did come; on the calendar anyway. And there are hints of it in the world around. The snow, though at the pace of a glacier, is receding. Patches of grass are showing, and some of that grass is even a little bit green. The birds have returned, singing their morning songs. The geese are pairing up, honking loudly as they fly above our house.
There were days this winter where all I wanted to do was run away. Away from the cold. Away from the snow. Away from the stress. Away from the noise cocoon that was my life.
But like much of life, now that it’s behind me, the hardness of it is fuzzy. The edges softer, rounder in my memory.
That’s motherhood, too.
Yesterday, I sat on Harry’s bed cradling him as he sobbed and cried, frustrated because a couple of Lego pieces wouldn’t go together. Posey sat on the floor at my feet crying too. When I’d get one calmed, the other would start up again. If I tried to hold them both at the same time, they pushed and squirmed against each other, uncomfortable sharing my arms. All told, it was about an hour of simultaneous tantrums.
“This is my hardest motherhood moment,” I thought to myself. I wanted to run away.
But surely I’ve felt that way before. Surely there have been many “this is the hardest moment yet” moments.
Keeping myself together in the midst of those tornadoes feels impossible at times. (And sometimes it is impossible, and I fail.) Staying calm. Being the grown up. Figuring out how to manage my emotions so that I can model what that looks like. When all I really want to do—what my dark heart wants to do—is scream “Be quiet! Stop crying! What is wrong with you!” I want to stomp away, slam doors, and scream.
But they need me, oh how they need me.
It makes me realize how dependent I am. How much I need grace, forgiveness, love, mercy. How much I need a savior. Someone to redeem me. To soften my edges, smooth my rough parts. To love me. Oh how I need Him to love me.
As I rocked Harry in one arm and patted Posey with the other I prayed out loud. Please God please. Please calm these babies. Please help me.
It wasn’t a magic trick that suddenly made them stop and be perfect smiling cherubs. But peace entered in that moment and it carried us through the rest of the afternoon and evening.
This morning at breakfast chaos returned. Harry wanted to be a dinosaur and there wasn’t enough coffee yet for roaring at the table. Posey wanted her pacifier (“Nana? Nana! Nana!”) even though she was also eating.
I sharply exhaled. How is that my vision of how our day will go is never how it goes? And we’ve only been up for 30 minutes!
Harry reached over for my hand, “Dear God?” he asked.
Yes, baby, yes. So we prayed, and I said quiet thanks for that gift.
Spring always comes. Always. We just need to be reminded.