By the time we got to church Sunday morning it took me twenty-five minutes to calm down. When I first sat down I thought to myself, The effort to get my girls ready for church and out the door on time is SO NOT WORTH IT! But by the end of the meeting I felt the exact opposite. Wrestling my girls out the doors on Sunday morning is NOT something worth getting worked up over. So they occasionally act like zoo animals. That doesn't mean I should stay home.
But even as I received that clarity of thought, it didn't necessarily melt my rancor toward them. When they stood up in church with the other Primary children to sing sweet Mother's Day songs, I could only think to myself, You appear angelic. But I know the truth. By seven o'clock Sunday evening I said to Jeremy, It's Mother's Day. So, I'm going upstairs to take a bubble bath. And I don't want to see any of them until tomorrow. He understood. He had witnessed Madeleine's forty-five minute tantrum about how her two younger sisters are forming a secret alliance without her and "looking at her funny."
It's a running joke in our marriage that we ought to ditch the kids and run away together. Sometimes when the decibel level of little girl screams becomes unbearable, we wink at each other and whisper, Let's get out of here. We don't need them! Only we do. One of the nicest parts of Mother's day happened at six o'clock in the morning, when Elisabeth stormed into our bedroom demanding cartoons. She plopped herself between us and Jeremy opened his eyes long enough to turn Care Bears on a low murmur. I rolled over to go back to sleep when suddenly I felt Jeremy reach around Elisabeth to take my hand. As if to say, I'm sorry she woke up even earlier than usual on Mother's Day. But it's okay. Go back to sleep. So we stayed like that for a while, secretly holding hands under the covers to the tune of a Care Bear Count Down. It felt like a stolen moment. And for some reason it was because we had a stubborn early riser sprawled between us that it felt special.