It started with an alarm I forgot to set the night before. That meant I was awoken unceremoniously by my little boy precisely half an hour late. Of course, this was the day I had a 9am deadline and an 8.45am start at playgroup (where I help set up).
Flinging clothes in the general direction of two wriggling bodies, I managed to get the boys dressed in between ‘computer stops,’ typing furiously before a child noticed I was missing.
Baby, handbag & nappy bag over one shoulder and holding my 2 1/2 year old’s hand, we hurtled towards the car and then charged towards playgroup, making it in record time and only 15 minutes late. Not bad.
As playgroup ended, we made our way, somewhat frazzled, back to the car. That’s when I discovered the back door had been left open the entire morning – a good 3 hours! A strange combination of horror, embarrassment, anger, relief and gratitude flooded over me as I peered inside and did a quick stocktake – nothing missing!
Starting the car, I looked over at my red faced, exhausted boys in the back seat and did a risk assessment. My next task involved a trip to Westfield for a friend’s birthday present. Was it worth risking a major implosion from one or both boys? I took that risk.
Lunch was pleasantly uneventful. Bub obligingly dozed in the pram as we made our way towards The Body Shop. That’s when my luck ran out.
Tyson went into ‘meltdown mode.’ Executing the worst tantrum I’ve ever witnessed. And all played out in front of a live audience. I could spot the other mums – they looked at me knowingly, no doubt thinking ‘thank goodness it’s not mine this time.’ But amongst those sympathetic glances were the ‘Parenting Experts,’ who looked on in disgust. An elderly woman actually came up to me and said: ‘is something wrong with your child?’
‘No.’ I replied calmly. He’s just having a tantrum.’ And then proceeded along my walk of shame back to the car, Tyson still screaming and flailing about.
A tearful call to hubby and he was on his way home. He took the boys to the park so I could get some work done. TV off. Laptop out onto the veranda. Nothing but birds chirping and a gentle breeze calming me with every breath.
It reminded me of 1 Kings 19:11 when Elijah asks to see God – a strong wind blows past, then an earthquake, then a fire and finally, a gentle breeze… and that’s where God resided.
In all the craziness of life, I forget to relish the gentle breeze.
If you want to have peace, be peaceful. Turn off the noise, declutter your day and don’t be afraid to say ‘no’ sometimes.
In his book ‘The Power of Positive Thinking’ Norman Vincent Peale says taking 15 minutes in quiet solitude each day is vital for the health of your mind, body and soul. My challenge is to find that 15 minutes of ‘alone time.’ It’s worth looking for.