Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: FRESH START (01/05/17)
TITLE: A New Lovely Day
By Nicki Jeffery
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I gripped the steering wheel and took a slow breath.
â€˜You can do this.â€™
As thoughts tumbled around in my brain, Jordanâ€™s voice broke through, â€œWhy arenâ€™t we going yet, Mummy?â€
I turned the key.
â€œWould you like to pray for the day?â€
It was my usual question. But this day was anything but usual.
â€œOkay. Dear God, thank you for our lovely day. And I pray we all have a lovely day. Amen.â€
I smiled at Jordan through my rear view mirror. He smiled back.
I blinked and my youngest son was in preschool. His older brother was commencing grade one at school. Six and a half years earlier, I cradled newborn Josiah in my arms. The years of nappies, play groups, wiping snotty noses and rocking kids to sleep were over.
As I dropped Jordan off at preschool a few minutes later, I felt the haste other working mothers must feel every day. Time mattered. My outfit mattered. My hair and make-up mattered. I was no longer sporting a tennis skirt and breezing over to the tennis courts for a few social games, followed by whatever childfree activities I wanted to do at home.
Back in the car, a feeling of excitement and nervous anticipation washed over me like an ocean wave. My mind took me back to the uncertainty of new parenting â€¦
I crept into my babyâ€™s bedroom and checked if he was breathing for the third time that night. I boiled the jug and made myself a steaming mug of tea. I turned the television on and wondered when Josiah would wake for his next breastfeed.
My mind was filled with questions. What does he need when he cries? Will he meet his milestones? How do I play with him? Am I producing enough milk?
Motherhood â€“ the most important job in the world, entered into without specific training or manuals to read. Motherhood â€“ the job you are given with no qualifications, yet you are the best candidate.
I stumbled through the first 18 months of parenting, and then I was a mother of two. Two beautiful boys. Soon they became two toddlers, followed by the pre-schooler days.
Josiahâ€™s bottom had become massive in the days after Jordanâ€™s birth.
â€œLook at this!â€
My husband came running, only to find me marvelling at the size of Josiahâ€™s rear end on the change table.
â€œBig, eh?â€ he smirked.
I dug my pointer finger into my thumb, looping Jordanâ€™s arm in the bath moments later. As I rocked him in the warm water, I marvelled at his size.
â€œYou are fearfully and wonderfully made, Jordan,â€ I whispered.
Josiah became my big boy helper, and we made it through the days and weeks.
The world looks different from the perspective of a stay at home mother. There are four walls for much of the time. Outings here and there. Plenty to consider as you head outdoors with the pram, the nappy bag and two little ones.
â€œMake sure you organise everything the night before,â€ A friend said.
But I didnâ€™t.
â€œI thought you had to be organised in your previous job,â€ The same friend pulled a face as she glanced around my messy house.
I sighed. â€œThis is a different sort of organisation.â€
Now, after dropping Jordan off at preschool, I realised I had done it. I had created my own form of organisation, my own way of doing motherhood. Armed with my parenting experience, I would have more skills in my chosen career.
I turned up the volume of my car stereo and belted out the words as you do when no one but God can hear you. Tears formed and started to slide down my face.
The emotions linked to my sons growing up, the end of an era, and my first day in my new job mingled in my heart.
As I pulled up at my workplace, I recalled Paulâ€™s words in Philippians 4:13 NKJV â€œI can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.â€
Composing myself with the aid of my rear view mirror, I took a deep breath and headed to work.
â€œGood morning, Year Two. Iâ€™m your new teacher, Mrs Baker.â€
â€œGood morning, Mrs Baker.â€
As I beheld the expectant faces, I smiled.
â€˜Thank you, Lord, for my lovely day.â€™
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