Embracing the Chaos

My sister and her husband are expecting their first child in early January. I am beyond thrilled about my sister becoming a mother. She will join the world of motherhood and see firsthand all of the happiness that it brings. I have been on this side of the fence for five years now. I wouldn’t feel complete without the challenges, lessons and love I am privileged to experience every day.

Life has been a blur for the past few weeks preparing for my sister’s baby shower. My house has fallen apart. I don’t know why there is a train in the heat register, but there is. I have no idea why I put the kids Halloween candy on top of the entertainment stand in the family room, but I did. I have stacks of laundry piled in baskets leading to the staircase, but not actually upstairs where it needs to be. I could go on, but I’d be writing all night and I need to sleep at some point.

Anyway, today I decided to try to make a dent. I began by cleaning bathrooms. I was really motivated. I thought, “I can get this done, no problem, while Noah is at school!” But Grace and Luke had other plans. Grace decided that she didn’t want to be put down. Luke had not one or two, but three poop attacks and was “starving” every five minutes. The good news was that I got two of my bathrooms cleaned during the two and a half hour stretch I had before picking up Noah. Gracie was beside herself for the fifteen minutes it took me to clean each one and Luke had to “starve” during that time as well, but I did it. There was no time, however to go to the grocery store before we had to pick up Noah.

So we, all four, hit Kroger this afternoon. Holy. Crap. Three kids at the grocery store is such a game-changer. I don’t have to do it often, but when I do, look out. If you see us walking into a store, do yourself a favor and go get a coffee down the street or something. Gracie is able to sit in the front of the cart now, which is fractionally easier than having her in her bulky car seat. But because of her visibility were stopped by several strangers who wanted to have conversations with her while my boys tried to cram as much junk food and matchbox cars into our cart as they could while I was partially distracted by being Grace’s interpreter. One lady actually said she wanted to die over how cute Grace was. I can’t disagree with her on the level of cuteness, but I am a bit biased. Consequently, this led to Noah asking me why that lady wanted to die. “Will she go to heaven because Grace killed her?” Of course I was laughing and could barely answer him.

Anyway, we made it through the store. Noah only acted up twice when I denied his request for cupcakes or something unhealthy and wouldn’t continue to walk with us while Luke screamed, “MOOOOOM! BROTHER ISN’T COMING WITH US! HE’S GOING TO GET LOOOOOST!” which in turn upset Grace who began to pout and wail. But eventually, and probably to the relief of all the Kroger shoppers, we vacated the premises with our cart full of groceries. Luke had to pee as soon as we got to the car so we had to turn around and go back in to use the restroom. But then we really left.

I made dinner after we got home and unloaded the car and put everything away. I fed Grace who took a late nap (poor thing has absolutely no consistent napping schedule). And by a minor miracle, Scott got home an hour earlier than I had expected. And when I saw him I thought, “I did it. I made it through today.”

But it got me thinking tonight about my sister and brother-in-law who are approximately sixty-two days (Cathy I am sure you have the right count) away from becoming parents. You will have these days that feel so mundane yet challenging and you’ll wonder how you’re going to make it. But you will and you will be even stronger than you thought you could be. I know the events I listed above were not anything too awful or challenging. I actually enjoy the chaos on some strange level. It’s a privilege some people will never be able to experience. And I have to remind myself that it’s all good, honest work.

Now I am going to steal a piece of Halloween candy off the top of the TV stand and call it a night.


My sister, Gracie and me at her baby shower. Isn’t she a beautiful mommy already?