Everyone says…“You’ll Get Caught Up…”
No. I won’t. And you know what, I don’t care.
I spend my life playing catch up.
Catch up the laundry.
Catch up the shopping.
Catch up the bills.
Catch up the house work.
Catch up my bible study.
It’s a lie. A lie I have bound my life to. And I am not sure who put down the measuring stick by which I was trying to catch up, but I think it was me. And I think I decided it was the best way to keep me in line with some metaphorical standard. An operational malady that affords me boundless stress. And I want to remove this decisive measure from my life, and I want varsity moms to join me in warning the underclass moms.
You can’t catch up.
Let it go. (Ugh, now I’ll have that stupid song stuck in my head all day.)
There are plenty of things I wish the old mom in me could tell the young version of me. Alas, it is too late for me. So I will tell you. You can’t catch up. There’s always something that will stand in the way of the moment you are chasing. A moment where you think you are caught up. In reality, the laundry is only caught up until bed time. And an, even more, drastic reality – it was only caught up in your mind – your eleven-year-old has 27 mismatched socks and an unfortunate pair of underwear hidden under his bed. And the same goes for the dishes, you can walk away from the running dishwasher, you can even pat yourself on the back, but there are 9 coffee cups and 2 cereal bowls lurking upstairs. When you do find them and the sludge they contain, nothing will ever be the same anyway.
You can’t catch up.
The last day of my bondage to catching up can be the metaphor you use to stop spinning your wheels and wasting your time. I bought a super fancy stroller to help me keep up with the babies. At this point in my parenting, I was about 42ish. The babies are either superhuman, or I am very timeworn because they are much faster than I. So I bought a standing stroller, they step on and I push them. They are contained, I am in control, and I will get caught up. The two toddling boys love this new contraption. I am a catch-up power-house. I am mailing things, shopping for a couple birthdays, we grab a coffee and scones, I drop off some cleaning, and pick up prescriptions – all is well on the road to caught up! And then….
The babies spy it first, a disgusting mutilated crow. It’s like something from the Omen. Seriously, this is what I imagine the angel of death looks like. And it is huge. The feathered nemesis’ right wing is broken and de-feathered. Mangled cartilage is erupting from his side. And he only has one eye. One eye! And this demon crow has found himself a little McDonald’s snack of discarded French-fries on the hot, sticky pavement. I speed up, cause he’s creepy. I make singular eye contact with the beast and he hisses at me. Terrified I go faster. Suddenly, I realize the stroller is very light. I stop. And turn to see the babies have jumped from the standing stroller and are headed straight for the wicked crow. The toddling boys are yelling,”FRWENCH FWIES! FRWENCH FWIES!”
The ghastly bird stands his ground. I suspect he actually can’t fly, although I am praying he will.
I abandon my stroller and am running toward the babies. What happened next cannot accurately be conveyed. The long and the short is flying feathers, a lot of screaming, what I thought was ketchup, but was, in fact, blood, and me madly flailing this modern day pterodactyl away from my babies. This insanity was followed by me fishing parking lot french fries out of the boys’ pudgy cheeks. And eventually realizing that someone had stolen some of my bags off my unattended stroller. Luckily I was wielding my purse as a weapon against Damien the Angel of Death, or as I like to refer now to him; the Phantom Crow of Catch Up.
I was never caught up. It was an illusion. And I won’t get caught up. It is a lie.
At our foster son’s next supervised meeting, I say that he ran into a bush in the backyard and that’s where the scratches came from. I don’t know what else to say? “He got into a fight with a crow over some fries and is currently under investigation by the Humane Society.” Of course not? Who says this kind of thing?
I’ll tell you who, someone who thinks they’ll catch up. Don’t let the Phantom Crow of Catch Up fight with your babies over parking lot French-fries. Someone could lose an eye.
Let it go.
Tonight I got home from 5 days away at a convention. I have unpacking to do, dishes, laundry, and paperwork. Some weird stuff went on while I was away. I won’t borrow trouble and ask, but one of the boys is missing an eyebrow and the other looks suspiciously shorter than when I left. Still, it is better I don’t know. I put on my pajamas and snuggle with them on the couch. We watch Aladdin two times through. Midway through the second viewing I realize I am sitting in grape jelly. There’s no point in trying to catch up on what went on here while I was gone. I let it go. I find joy in this relaxed state. The babies and I eat popcorn and sing along to Aladdin and the Genie. This is the best of mommy-dome. Letting go of catching up. Letting go of stressing out.
Trust me… it’s a whole new world.
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