Monday, April 12, 2010

Just Having the Capacity is Enough

My kids were such good kids yesterday that it actually made me genuinely happy. Now, this isn't one of those bragging stories about how my kids are smarter and better than yours or how my great parenting skills have created such upstanding little citizens. Truthfully, for the past Spring Break week (or two) the kids have been poor to follow directions, sassy, mean to each other and messy beyond normal.

The weekend started out rough. The baby and I have had solid colds the last few days and between congestion and coughing, I thought my head was going to explode. After a failed attempt to have a good time at the drive-in movies Saturday night, I was done. I had the white flag out and I was waving it like a drowning woman. My poor baby cried and screamed for an hour while my husband and I struggled to follow the plot of "Date Night", which could have been really good. The big kids sat in back and watched a DVD with head phones on and my husband and I were on each others last nerve by the time the baby went down to sleep. The night couldn't end fast enough. Then there was Sunday...

Everyone woke like normal and everyone seemed to be happy with their breakfast. Plates were even cleared from the table without a reminder. For whatever reason the fighting amongst kids was minimal that day and what a difference this makes! I consciously tried to be extra patient and we managed to actually be productive. We baked fun colored spritz cookies, so everyone was even hopped up on sugar (crack for my kids).

My house doesn't have a lot of room downstairs and we truthfully live in every single inch of it. The kids destroyed the family room with toys and I couldn't even walk without almost falling and breaking a leg. Here's where it gets crazy...when asked, the kids picked up everything and put it away. I told them they had 15 minutes to work together to get the room ready for me to vacuum. When the time was up they weren't done, but since they had made such progress I gave them 15 more minutes. They loved the challenge and finished one minute before the timer beeped. I was shocked. The two big kids worked together and I even heard them laughing at each other's silly "knock-knock" jokes. By the time bed time rolled around I actually hesitated putting them down and ending an otherwise perfect day.

I love my kids and I think they're pretty great but that's because they are mine. When they mind and listen and actually allow themselves to like each other it makes up for anything bad they've ever done in their whole little lives. They are not perfect everyday, but knowing that they have the capacity to be this good makes everything okay. I love them so much and yesterday I got to see them really love each other.

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