Monday, June 9, 2008

The neighbors have ears...and they're amplified

Okay. It was a long day. It was well into the 90's and very humid with no a/c, and my gills just haven't grown yet, in spite of the fact that I'm now going through my 3rd summer out there. Two of the girls had to get shots today and were very fussy, and my two-year-old just cried all day.

All day.

She just had a really rough day for some reason. And the more she cries, the more her asthma tightens up, and the pitch of her little wail just gets higher and higher. :) She cried during breakfast. She cried during her sisters' appointments. She cried on the way home in the oven of a van. She cried during lunch. She cried during the nap. She cried when she woke up. She cried all during school activities. She cried while we planted flowers. She cried while we colored and sang. Then a huge storm hit and she started to wail in terror. :) She started to run frantically and fell flat on her face on the hardwood floor and waaaaaaaailed through bloody teeth. She cried all through dinner and everything afterward.

Finally, the walls started to close in on momma. Though it was now almost dark, all the windows were open in the hopes of catching a breeze in the water-soaked air, so every train and truck going by was deafening. One girl was playing the piano, another was singing at the top of her lungs, the baby was crying, and the two-year-old was wailing. I felt like every neighbor on the street was hearing the absolute clamor of my house and shaking their heads. I had to get her to stop! It was so loud out there and all of the windows were open. I just didn't feel like she was even hearing me talk to her. So I picked her up to take her away from it all and went into my room and shut the door. (No windows open in neighbors to hear her wailing.)

It had been such a long day, I couldn't help it! I started to cry a little bit and I was very frustrated. I prayed for help out loud while I held my screaming two-year-old. I didn't even know what to say to her other than "Please stop! Please use your words! I really love you and want to help...just tell me what's wrong!!" (Luckily for me, as you'll see, I did just say it, and didn't yell it.) I had to say it a bit loudly, though, because she was crying so hard. My one comfort was that, in that moment, no neighbors could hear us for once. No neighbors could hear me praying and begging my two-year-old to just stop wailing for one minute.

Well, after a few more minutes of crying from both of us, we both felt a bit better and ventured back out. I felt refreshed that at least I was able to deal with it in some semblance of privacy.

As soon as we came back out, one of my daughters said, "Mommy, we were listening to you!" She then held up the baby monitor.

My mind flashed back to today...

When we were out planting flowers, the baby had been asleep on my bed for a short time. I had put the baby monitor in the window facing out, volume all the way up, so that I would be sure to hear her if she woke up. I had never turned it off!

So, though I settled it in a room with no windows open, I had broadcast myself and my two-year-old with speakers at full volume pointed out the window!!

Sigh. :)

I can hear you laughing. It's not funny.

Okay, it is. I'm even chuckling right now. :) I just got them all to sleep, finally. :) I love my daughters with everything that I have, and I give everything that I am to them and to Matt because they are my life, and they are my joy. I have spent a great deal of time pondering this week upon just how blessed I am. I feel, even right now, that my heart could burst with love and gratitude for what I have been given. I am so grateful for every moment with them.

(Even the moments that get broadcast to the whole neighborhood.)


Kirk said...

Whew! I can certainly "hear you" -- I know we have all had days like that. The best thing, though, is that at least the neighbors -- and more importantly, your family -- know that your response is not to threaten or beat or anything else negative! That's something to feel good about, even if it has come at quite the price! The phrase that comes to mind is "hurts so good" (usually reserved for massage therapy). Love You!!


chantilita said...

I didn't mean to chuckle so loud :) But what a good example you are!!--to your kids and to your neighbors who could hear you crying and speaking kindly to your baby! :)

This is why I don't have children. Or a husband. Or anyone lol--I don't have your patience yet!! :) That's why God gives me employees. I'm learning it!! lol :)

kannie said...

Oh, sweet, wonderful Ann!!! At least your neighbors - if they were even paying attention - know you're the most patient, loving person they've ever met! ;-)

And I would've been crying LONG before that! ;-)

Tara and Dan Stewart said...

I am so behind reading your blog, but I'm catching up! I really DID laugh out loud at this one!!! And, i love that you could get a good laugh out of it at the end of the day, too. You are such a wonderful mother. The world SHOULD hear what you have to say so they can learn how to parent with love and patience. Kudos to you!