Because it’s therapeutic just to journal about the day.
Because in the thinking back, we can let go and find the beauty in our mundane.
Because, in an effort to find significance where I am right now. It’s that place where kids are small and messes are big and none of us know what we’re doing.
This morning, I woke up to a seven-year-old who had to go the bathroom and was eager to read The Boxcar Children. He said good morning to my sleeping eyes and then he went to my closet to read alone. It’s a big closet, with the light and space for this boy to spread out. One corner even holds a pile of his books. I wonder just how many books he has in there, but I have never taken the time to count them. Instead, I often remind my boy that it’s not his closet. I ask him to stack his books neatly. I ask him if he really needs that many books in my closet. He always tells me that he does. I don’t believe him, but then I look at my nightstand which holds at least twenty books. I read them all.
This morning, I stayed in bed with Susan (almost three weeks old now). We snuggled. I went back to sleep until the next child awoke. Then I left Susan to dream, and I showered.
The morning was more hectic than I would have liked. The mornings almost always are. This morning, Susan woke up and and wouldn’t be put down. We were all starving by the time she did. As soon as my hands were free I made oatmeal. I cooked it with maple syrup while my middle two children stood close, blowing holes into the steam that rose above it. I scooped the oatmeal into four bowls and listened to everyone’s requests for toppings. Milk. Honey. Brown sugar. My oldest cried. He didn’t want honey but because I was feeling rushed I had accidentally put it into everyone’s bowls. Screaming rose like the oatmeal’s steam had earlier, but the screaming could not be blown away. The child said he didn’t like honey but I know that’s not true and I told him so. We argued, though I knew that was dumb and futile. I am an adult and these are children, but I often forget about our age gap.
Susan woke up. Eventually, everyone was fed and we were trying to get everyone ready for a play date at the Splash Pad. I was annoyed.
“Seek first the kingdom of God” kept playing in my heart, but my annoyance won anyway. I gave my kids opportunities to listen but they kept failing my expectations. I made sandwiches while Susan lay in a basket of clean laundry and screamed. Her siblings stood nearby trying to calm her with sweet songs and well-meaning kisses. We were an hour late to our play date but we had fun while we were there.
Water shot up from the ground and my kids knew exactly what to do with it. They explored. They played. They laughed and climbed and made memories with their friends. I chatted with my friends–the other moms–making my own memories.
Where are my eyes throughout these days? Am I looking at crumbs or at the tiny hands who made them?
After dinner, after bedtime, I washed dishes and wiped the counters and now I am sitting at the table writing out the day, looking for the meaning, knowing that meaning only sometimes comes how we think it will.
Haiku the Day Away was never about advice or how-to anything. Haiku are small image-driven poems with big punches. Though they seem to be about the images, haiku hold unseen treasures. They show what is in front of us but they are about something deeper. They are like metaphorical x-rays, begging us to look beyond. Again and again, they ask us to seek and keep seeking and they almost always, in the end, reveal more within those things which we have allowed to become mundane. In a haiku, the mundane can actually hold so much beauty.