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The Five People You Meet in Heaven….. sacrifice

My kids drove me to the brink of craziness this afternoon.  It is a sadly common occurance.

Spent a bunch of the day trying to organize and get the apartment cleaned before we leave on vacation to constant arguing, complaing, and questioning.  As soon as I made my bed this morning my son was crawling under the covers.  As soon as I would have the floor cleaned up in a room to vacuum there were toys back on it.  They wanted to play computer games but they just constantly ask if it was ‘their turn’ yet.  For lunch my daughter refused to eat any of the options I could come up with  for her.  Took them to the library where my son kept grabbing 10 books at a time and carrying them around.  Things really got crazy when we had to go the the store for food for the weekend and they insisted on touching and running their hands along everything.  Ian even ran his hands over some ladies backside in line at the check-out.   … that makes for a great ice breaker. 

Being the end of the week I wanted to make sure they were really tired out and would go to bed early so we went to the pool for a half an hour.  Being that they are so attention starved and I have talked, listened, read, and bossed them around all day they insisted on both talking to me for a straight 20 minutes…. not taking turns… or not even stoping for breath, as far as I could tell.  I was sitting at the side of the pool watching them, not reading, or talking on the phone or anything.  I am super paranoid about water and even with life jackets in the shallow end of the pool, so I make sure I am watching close.

I: Mom can I show you something? (yes) Mom can I show you something? (yesss)

L: Mom did you see that? (huh?) Did you see what I just did? (yes, I am sitting here watching)  Watch!

I: Mom your eyes are not on me.  I need you to put your eyes on me? (I am)

L: Mom how long was I under water? Did you count? (um, no I was watching your brother)

I: Mom can I show you somethingggggggggg? (I am watching you )

L: Did you see what I just did?  (yes) Do you know where I learned that? (no) 

I: Mom can I show you something? (Ian, I am sitting here watching you!)

L: Did you see the bubbles? (yes) How long was I underwater?  How many seconds? (I don’t know)

I: Mom! (What)  Can I show you something?

L: Can you do a flip in the water?  Like this? 

I: Mom, can I show you something else? Mom?

….. I almost pulled them out of the pool for driving me crazy. 

Now they are finally asleep.  I have been able to pick up the food off the floor, wet swim suits left in my bathroom, new princess shoes (that I have stepped on at least twice today), cloths, blankets, and books all over again. 

So through this I have been thinking a bunch about ‘The Five People You Meet in Heaven’ by Mitch Albom that I have read over the last few days.   It is a short, deep, and quite dark book.  Made me cry good at the library this afternoon as I finished it (behind the mountain of books Ian had made).  Really, I think I prefer books that have much more happy in them and take more breaks.  This one was intense the whole way through, leaving me feeling a bit beat up. 

What stuck with me the most was the second person.  I read through this section as my kids are in the dentists chair yesterday and it has stuck with me.  The second person was teaching teaching the main character about sacrifice.  He said:

“Sacrifice,” The captain said.  “You made one.  I made one.  We all make them.  But you were angry over yours.  You kept thinking about what you lost. 

“You didn’t get it.  Sacrifice is a part of life.  It’s supposed to be.  It’s not something to regret.  It’s something to aspire to.  Little sacrifices.  Big sacrifices.  ….

I really liked the second part.  It is supposed to be, not something to regret, but to aspire to. 

I do see my staying home with my kids as a sacrifice.  I feel I have given up a lot to both stay home with them and help my husband run his business.  I don’t and haven’t every regretted it but also haven’t seen it as something to aspire too.  Honestly, this afternoon all I could dream about was quiet.  Now, finally, the house is quiet and I can sit with my thoughts.  It is times like these that I can think, organize my thoughts and feelings, breath out and really appreciate my life and my choices.  What is so hard is taking that clarity through the day.  It can be in my head but my actions and tone are often don’t show how happy I am.  It is frusterating, and streching and probably what life is all about.  I know my kids have helped me grow into a better person, I just hope that I can grow to be that better person before they are grown up and gone. 

Sacrifices is not something to regret (or just put up with), but something to aspire to.