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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Retreat (as in quiet time away) (08/01/05)

TITLE: ONE FINE DAY
By Sheila Arnott
08/04/05


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Once again, it is the weekend and I am doing things with the kids. Since my husband works every weekend and I’m off Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, that’s pretty much ALL I do on the weekends -- things for, with and about my three kids. Friday was a rough one because my eldest was being her adorable, inflexible self, and I was being impatient with her instead of “acting as a replacement frontal lobe for her” and “helping her through it”, as instructed by the latest book I’m reading about difficult/stubborn/explosive children. In spite of it all, we finished the day at the pool and they had a splashing good time.

Today we’re on our way to pick blueberries at a local farm I drove by last Saturday that had a sign out saying, “BLUEBERRY PICKING, WED. AND SAT. 9 - 1:00". It’s 12:20 because I like to be as late as humanly possible whenever I can. As we’re driving along, the girls are giving each other a hard time, as usual.

“Mom! Am I giving her payback?” Sophie asks from the backseat.

“I have no idea, dear.” I answer. “I try not to pay attention to what y’all are saying. It’s the only way I can hold on to my sanity...such as it is.” Sophie has not waited for my reply before continuing to bicker back and forth with her little sister.

Unfortunately, when we get there, the sign is not up anymore. A rather dejected-looking family is walking down the road away from the farm. I park the mini-van across the street and tell the kids to “Wait here.” Approaching them, I ask hopefully, “Can you still pick blueberries?” “No.” the Dad tells me, “They said yesterday was the last day.” “Yesterday! Heck, that was Friday, not even a Wednesday OR a Saturday?!”, my brain screams. I shuffle back to the car to tell the little darlins’. After some considerable crying, whining and tossing about in their seats, I convince them that we can STILL HAVE FUN TODAY… and we do.

We start by getting “Happy Face Cookies” in the Farmer’s Market store. Then we go to the grocery store and they take turns riding in the car cart. Next, we get Wendy’s for lunch, I clean up the breakfast dishes, throw some laundry in the washer and it’s off to the pool again! By 10:00 p.m., we all collapse, exhausted in our beds (mine and my husband’s sometimes also occupied by our 4-year-old son).

Sunday is busy with Sunday School (my turn to teach!) and then church. By the time we get home I am pretty much done for and I just want to go to sleep. Since there’s no chance of that happening, I inform the children that there will be no trip to the pool today, and call a friend to come over to play. This one little girl manages to occupy my two girls (and, occasionally, my boy) and I push through my weariness and begin to clean the disaster area that was once a home.

Several hours and some yoga later, my house is not all the way clean, but much better. All the kinks are out of my back (thanks to the yoga), and my boy has fallen asleep on my bed (after watching the ceiling fan go ‘round & ‘round). Then Daddy comes home and takes the girls outside to ride bikes.
After dinner, my wonderful husband offers to take all the kids to the park. Well, I did still want to practice my guitar (something I get to do about once a month, maybe) yet, I very nearly said, “Oh no, that’s okay, Honey.” Fortunately, that thread of sanity I’d been holding on to took over, and I let them go.

Ahhhhhh. I feel renewed. I feel like a new woman. Isn’t it amazing what a couple of hours spent doing something for yourself can do for your disposition? Why do we let our guilt that we’re not being the ultimate mother and wife take over when all we really need is a moment to ourselves? Surely, I could be a nicer Mom, a sweeter wife, even a better Christian if I just took the time to replenish my soul. From now on I resolve to take a little “retreat” whenever possible and spend some time just tending to myself.


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This article has been read 578 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Debra Brand08/08/05
What a hectic weekend! Good article on finding time for yourself.
Anita Neuman08/09/05
Oh, it all sounds so familiar! Thanks for articulating it for us.
Linda Watson Owen08/10/05
You've captured one of the greatest challenges for the modern parent.
dub W08/11/05
Great story. Work on breaking up dialogue.
Phyllis Inniss 08/11/05
Great article. You really need that break having done so much and managing to get it all down in your entry. So many mums will identify with you.
Shannon Redmon08/12/05
Rings a bell! Thanks for sharing!
Shari Armstrong 08/12/05
I think most mom's can relate to this. Very well done.
Beth Muehlhausen08/13/05
I can relate! Good job explaining your need, and giving credit to the hubby for offering to relieve you....!
Deborah Porter 10/10/05
Hello Sheila - I'm sorry to contact you this way, but wanted to make sure you knew that your entry in the "Flowers" Challenge arrived just a little too late, and ended up in the list for the next topic, "Fruit." You must have missed it by a fraction, and if there was a way for me to enter it for you now, I would. Unfortunately, once the entries go public, there's just no way to do that. I'm so sorry - it actually looked like a very good piece of writing. I've removed it from the "Fruit" listings, so please feel free to enter for that topic. With love (and apologies) Deb Porter (Challenge Coordinator)