I’m slowly emerging from our annual busiest week of the year. It is one of those times of life when you simply can’t cut out any of the chaos, but you must learn to find a gentle path through it. I have spent several years carefully trimming activities, commitments, and hurry from my life, much as a skilled gardener painstakingly prunes his trees to produce the most fruit. Even beyond the everyday quest for peace, I have somehow regained peace during the Christmas season, another struggle for me and for most moms, I think. But I have yet to manage a peaceful final week of January. Peace is a process, I think. I have moved the boys’ birthday party into the summer (celebrating their half birthdays at the beach in August) which is a major step towards gaining peace at this time of year. After our huge annual Super Bowl Party on Sunday (Greg’s self-proclaimed “second favorite day of the year”) I brainstormed a few ways to make that day less stressful and more relaxed for me. I’m taking small but significant steps.
There are times in life when chaos is unavoidable. A newborn baby brings chaos along with joy. A visit from out of town guests is both welcome and hectic. This week for our family, with so many activities packed into such a small time frame, requires that I find simple moments of peace within the inevitable chaos. Some of my favorite pockets of peace were watching Greg relish his role as gamemaster for our Super Bowl Party…watching Jake celebrate his birthday at preschool (playing rhythm sticks during music with his class)…the three boys celebrating their birthdays together by candlelight…enjoying extra hugs and cuddles from Tyler as he recovered from the flu…watching the boys (all three of them!) savor their birthday morning breakfast at the donut shop (definitely wouldn’t have been my first choice for how to spend a birthday morning!)…and generally seeing everyone connect with others throughout the weekend.
Having said all this, I freely admit that my favorite moments have been during the last few days in the calm after the storm. Watching the nectarine blossoms come out in this early heat wave, enjoying the rays of sun hitting the pears ripening on my windowsill, laying on the park bench in the sun like a cat as the boys laugh and play, spending a wonderful afternoon catching up with a dear old friend, and having tea this morning with a dear new one. What can I say, I like the quiet everyday moments best. I did say peace is a process, didn’t I?