Ah, a day in the life…
I’ve been having a really hard time sleeping lately, mostly due to an upper respiratory infection that I’ve had for about 2 weeks. So, in my not-so-infinite wisdom, I took a NyQuil to sleep last night. Oh, NyQuil. The “nighttime, sniffling, sneezing, coughing, aching, fever, sleep better to feel better” medicine, right?
Have I mentioned that I have a very low tolerance to meds? I don’t simply “wake up” after ingesting HighQuil–oops! I meant NyQuil–I actually have to slowly come out of a 13 hour coma. Instead of sleeping like this:
I end up looking something like this:
And, she’s actually kind of cute. For it to be an accurate representation, she’d have to have her mouth wide open, hair sticking straight out, and she’d be completely hanging over the side of the bed. Seriously.
As I slowly came out of my medically induced coma, I realized it was lunchtime. No big deal. I wasn’t even remotely hungry. Oh, wait–I have children. Dang, they need to eat, don’t they? “Mom of the Year”, I’m not. Since I also needed to go out for more children’s Motrin (best thing for pain and fevers, really), I decided to treat the kids to burgers. So, I threw on the closest thing I could find to clothing, and off we went. Everything was fine, until we were on our way home.
See, my children don’t know how to simply ride in a car. They talk, whisper, play, and giggle. But mostly, they fight. All the time. Over the silliest things.
“Mom, he’s looking at me!”
“Mom, he’s touching me!”
“Don’t sing that song! That’s my song. Only I can sing that song!”
“Look out your window, not my window!”
And on and on. It could drive anyone crazy. And, although I had only been awake for about 2 hours, I had already reached my limit. The boys were getting so heated that it was getting violent. Fists were flying, and ugliness was all that came out of their little mouths. What was today’s argument? What was the latest debate? Global warming? The 2012 presidential election? The Chick-fil-a debacle? Nope. They were ripping each other apart over the Power Rangers. More specifically, WWIII was about to ensue over who was the best Power Ranger. It was ridiculous, and I had told them to “stop fighting” one too many times.
Apparently, we were having a major miscommunication. So, I decided to speak a language that I knew they would understand. I lost it.
Yes, the proverbial “it.” My sanity.
We were about 2 miles away from home, on a country road, when I decided to show the boys what “bat shit crazy” looks like. I checked the rearview mirror, made sure that there was no traffic coming, and slammed on the brakes. Hard. Yes, we came to a complete stop in the middle of the road. Why? Because I’m always telling the kids that I can’t concentrate over their noise, that I can’t drive with their constant bickering. (I actually can, but I’d rather not have to.)
I very calmly sat there for a second or two, always checking to make sure that no cars were coming (I could see for miles in both directions), while it slowly sunk in to the heathens in the backseat.
“Mommy?” The Younger Boy said slowly. I turned to him, smiled, and very sweetly answered, “Yes?” “We’re sorry. You can drive now. We’ll stop fighting.”
Message received. A few minutes later, I could hear them whispering and giggling under their breath. No doubt The Younger Boy was explaining to the Older Boy that Mommy flipped her lid. But that’s ok. She did, and it was funny. I was having a hard time concealing a smile, especially since my groceries, the contents of my purse, and the kids’ lunches had slid to the floor. Oh well, there are always a few casualties in battle, right?
Fast forward to the evening, when I actually had plans with an adult. My mom had bought tickets for us to attend the American Idol tour together. And, although I hadn’t followed the show this year, I was looking forward to the night out. (After my earlier episode, I’d imagine that the kids were glad to be rid of me too.) There was just one problem–I still felt horrible. It didn’t matter. I was going, and I was going to enjoy myself. I’d just take some more medicine before we went out.
I’m so glad I went. For a few reasons.
First of all, it was thoroughly entertaining. The singers were exceptionally talented, probably the most raw talent that venue had seen in a while. A lot of the songs weren’t really a genre that I love, but there was some really good original songs, as well as some great rock (my fave) performances.
Not only were the performers entertaining, but the audience also had me captivated. Okay, bear with me here. I’ve said before that I have a very odd sense of humor. I find things funny that many others don’t. It’s not unusual at all for me to be giggling all by myself. My mind is a scary place to be normally. But tonight, I also had cold medicine in my system. So, my mind was a one-woman comedy act, complete with a laugh track. Like I said, low tolerance.
When the elderly (probably in their 70’s) women sat in front of us, I was already amused. They were so cute, with their stereotypical old-lady hairdo’s, clothing, and shoes. I was pretty impressed with the grannies for coming to a concert. I was pretty impressed…until one of them busted out a cell phone. During the performance. And started texting. I was then thoroughly impressed. I don’t know why, but it struck me as funny. Hilarious, actually. I could see her texting at the speed of mammoth, making a slug look like a NASCAR driver, and I couldn’t stop giggling. I wanted so badly to see what she was texting. In my mind, I could picture her telling her posse that “This concert is bitchin’!” Or, even better, checking in on facebook with a caption that said, “Rockin’ out with my gals!” The whole thing was cute, and it made me want to text my grandmother, although she’d probably never even see it. She would just wonder why her phone kept beeping at her.
Then, there was a young girl, probably about 12 years old, who was sitting on the side of me. She was quiet the whole concert, until after intermission, when she returned to her seat with a multicolored glow stick. I was mesmerized. It was so annoying, yet I couldn’t look away. I had a sudden nostalgia for my younger days, when glow sticks were only found at raves. Then the stupid thing began to flash. It was like some rainbow strobe light from hell. I felt like I had slipped into some alternate universe, where old ladies texted and young girls attended raves that played Bieber instead of trance. I flip-flopped between being horrified and amused.
The day had been crazy, almost dreamlike. But it wasn’t over yet. Something pretty great happened at that strange, wonderful concert. There is a young man named Colton Dixon who is part of the tour. He is releasing an album in the fall, and he gave us a sample of a song from that album called “Never Gone”. Besides being musically good, the song has a very important message. One that I needed to hear. At first, I thought it was a typical love song, until I realized he wasn’t talking about romantic love at all. He was singing about the love of the Father:
“I let go of your hand
To help you understand
I was with you all along
Yeah, I was never gone.”
See, I’ve been struggling with my faith for a while now. I’ve been experiencing a spiritual darkness for a few months, and I can’t seem to shake it. It’s why I haven’t been writing. This is a blog that I felt called to write, and even though I didn’t want to be so open, I followed that calling. This is a blog about my spiritual journey, yet there has been no journey to write about. It’s been stagnant. But, during that song, I felt a familiar tugging. A familiar whisper, asking me to go back to this uncomfortable place. “Write for Me.” And, although I still struggle with the purpose of my writing, I have chosen to be obedient.
I’m slowly coming out of the darkness, thanks in part to my spiritual director, a.k.a. The Ninja-Priest-Friend. He has recommended that I find a kindred spirit in Mother Teresa who, unbeknownst to me, struggled with her own darkness. I am currently reading a book about her, and I am amazed daily at how many of my words (regarding my spirituality) are her words. She was so obedient and so good, yet she struggled just as I do. There’s comfort in that somehow.
So, I pray for guidance, and I ask that you remember me in your prayers, as well. I’m going to be sharing more of these struggles, and I am not one who likes to be vulnerable. I don’t know why, but God seems intent on having me uncomfortable.
Oh well. In the words of someone much wiser than me,
“Give yourself fully to God. He will use you to accomplish great things on the condition that you believe much more in His love than your own weakness.” –Mother Teresa
To hear “Never Gone” by Colton Dixon or to see the lyrics, go here.