Hell in the Hallway

What happens in the middle of where you were and where you will be?

When God closes one door, he opens another… But…

It’s good to strive for more. To be a better person, to achieve what you’ve dreamed. It takes longer when you have to decide everyday “at what cost?” It takes longer when you take the time to let your heart change. To grow up, and to have healthy boundaries in the balance of life and loved ones

Yesterday, as I prepared our family car for photos to list it for sale, I grappled with the thoughts of an end of an era. The leather seats and car smell brought me back to our adventures at San Francisco and roadtrips, and misadventures with blown transmissions and never ending problems that popped up like a whackamole.

The first lost treasure I found was a painting by Kadence. A rainbow of beautiful blues, purples, and bedazzled with glitter glue. It caught my eye, but going through every nook and cranny overwhelmed me.

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I moved on with the task. The sun was beginning its descent as I wrangled the hose out to wipe the car down. Each time I sprayed, a rainbow was created, wrapping around the frame of the car. Okay. You’ve got my attention.

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I had another dejavu moment this morning, as I walked to the kitchen to divvy up our breakfast. Someone once said that dejavu is affirmation that you’re at the right place at the right time. That settles my heart. We ate together and tried to feed the bluejays peanuts together on the back deck.

I can take fifteen minutes to devote to progress on my own projects. I can make headway by spending small bits of time on the things that have to be done. But I can’t set aside every responsibility and every little heart that’s dependent on me.

To me, to love is utmost. To fill those little hearts, to authentically gleam in my eyes when they burst with excitement over, what to me is the tiniest of triumphs. But I battle with it. Where do their needs balance with my own need to be creative and get stuff done? To not feel stagnant from inactivity. To be a human being, too.

It’s been a long week with Addison not sleeping well. She naps fine, but when nighttime comes, she won’t wind down to sleep in her bed. Tonight was day three of low lights, hushed voices, and rocking to sleep to help her body register that it’s sleepy time. The reason she’s been having problems? Her circadian rhythm’s been thrown off by screen time. The iPad while I edit, and put the others to bed. The tv running in the background so I can make dinner. It’s a catch 22. I want to have my cake and eat it too. And seriously how screen addicted can a tiny not even two year old be? (Answer, very.)

So tonight, I tiptoed through the hall with Addison to bring her to bed, but Josh was awake still. It’s a delicate balance for three kids to sleep in a room together. I whispered for him to keep still and go to bed quickly so Addy wouldn’t stir. Mommy needed to punch out of the time-clock.

But moments later, I heard the door crack open, the hallway light click on.

Ruined. My plans. My night. My rest. Gone.

I set him up in the nook in the kitchen to be sure his little sister was fast asleep before he returned to bed. I was upset. I turned on the sink to wash dishes since at nearly ten pm, my day was still not through. He gently asked if I needed help. The help I wanted was for him to be asleep. He asked again a moment later. I cringed. He must be trying to buy more time.

“My happiness is not contingent on what others do,” I reminded myself.

Deep breath.

“Yes. Please. That would be very nice.”

And he did help. He collected the dishes from the living room without a whine, and helped me put together His daddy’s lunch for tomorrow with a smile. And after a bit, we held hands to the hallway, then I kissed those cheeks that used to be so round and chubby. Then I lifted him for a hug, his legs seeming longer than ever. I thanked him for being kind, for offering help when I didn’t know I needed it. That my heart was happy and full from the love he shared with me. And we tiptoed back into their tiny bedroom and blew kisses to each other.

My happiness is not contingent on what others do. It has everything to do with my heart, though. It has everything to do with my attitude.

So, here I am at midnight with a silent, halfway messy house, full of the sleepy sounds of my family.

There’s not enough time in the day, for which I’m thankful. For I love that fresh start every sunrise. The blank slate to try again, to love again. To make mistakes and messes, and laugh anyways.

So the hallway really isn’t hell at all. It’s just the stretching and strengthening of my heart.

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Ps. Volvo XC90 for sale.

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