Stuff I Wish You’d Quit Saying: You’ll Catch Up… No. I won’t. And you know what, I don’t care.
I spend my life playing catch up.
1. Catch up the laundry.
2. Catch up the shopping.
3. Catch up the bills.
4. Catch up the house work.
5. Catch up my bible study.
It’s a lie. A lie I have bound my life to. And I am not sure who put down the measuring stick by which I was trying to catch up to, but I think it was me, and I think enemy decided it was the best way to keep me bound and chained. And I want to remove this decisive measure from my life, and I want varsity moms to join me in warning the underclass moms.
You can’t catch up.
Let it go. (Ugh, now I’ll have that stupid song stuck in my head all day.)
There are plenty of things I wish the old mom in me could tell the young version of me… but it is too late for me.
So I will tell you.
You can’t catch up.
There’s always something that will stand in the way of the moment you are chasing.
A moment where you think you are caught up. In reality, the laundry is only caught up until bed time. And an even more drastic reality – it was only caught up in your mind – your eleven-year-old has 27 mismatched socks and an unfortunate pair of underwear hidden under their bed. And the same goes for the dishes, you can walk away from the running dishwasher, you can even pat yourself on the back, but there are 9 coffee cups and 2 cereal bowls lurking upstairs. When you do find them, nothing will ever be the same for you anyway.
I am sorry to be the one to break it to you, but – you can’t catch up.
My last day I was planning on catching up can be the metaphor you use to stop spinning your wheels and wasting your time. I bought a super fancy stroller to help me keep up with the babies. At this point in my parenting, I was about 42ish. The babies are either superhuman, or I am very old because they are much faster than I. So I buy a standing stroller, they step on and I push them. They are contained, I am in control, and I will catch up on some errands. The two toddling boys love this new contraption. We are happy and we hit one shop after another. I am a catch-up power-house. I am mailing things, and shopping for a couple birthdays, we grab a coffee and scones, I drop off some cleaning, and pick up prescriptions – all is well on the road to caught up! And then….
The babies spy it first, a disgusting mutilated crow.
It’s like something from the Omen. Seriously, this is what the angel of death looks like. And it is huge. It’s right wing is broken and de-feathered. Mangled cartilage is erupting from his side. And he only has one eye. One eye! And this demon crow has found himself a little McDonald’s snack of 4 huge french fries on the hot, sticky pavement. I speed up, cause he’s creepy. I make eye contact and he hisses at me. Terrified I go faster… and I realize the stroller is very light. I stop. And turn to see the babies have jumped from the standing stroller and are headed straight for the wicked crow. The babies are yelling,”FRWENCH FWIES! FRWENCH FWIES!”
The crow stands his ground. I suspect he actually can’t fly, although I am praying he will. He doesn’t.
I abandon my stroller and am running toward the babies. What happened next, ugh. The long and the short is flying feathers, a lot of screaming, what I thought was ketchup, but was in fact blood, and me madly flailing this modern day pterodactyl away from my babies. What followed was me fishing parking lot french fries out of their pudgy cheeks. And eventually realizing that someone had stolen some of my bags off my unattended stroller. Luckily I was wielding my purse as a weapon against Damien the Angel of Death Crow.
I was never caught up. It was an illusion. And I won’t get caught up. It is a lie.
At the foster baby’s next supervised meeting, I say that he ran into a bush in the backyard and that’s where the scratches came from. I don’t know what else to say? “He got in a fight with a crow over some fries and is currently under investigation with the Humane Society.” Of course not? Who says this kind of thing?
I’ll tell you who, someone who thinks they’ll catch up. Don’t let the Evil Crow of Catch Up fight with your babies over parking lot french fries. Someone could lose an eye.
Let it go.
So tonight I got home from 5 days away at a convention. I have unpacking to do, dishes, laundry, and paperwork. Something went on with the babies… I won’t borrow trouble and ask, but one of them is missing an eyebrow and the other looks suspiciously shorter than when I left. Still, it is better I don’t know. I put on my pajamas and snuggle with them on the couch.
We watch Aladin two times through. Midway through the second viewing, I realize I am sitting in grape jelly. There’s no point in trying to catch up on what went on here while I was gone. I let it go. I find joy in this relaxed state. The babies and I eat popcorn and sing along to Aladin and the Genie. This is the best of mommy-dome. Letting go of catching up. Letting go of stressing out.
Trust me… it’s a whole new world.
But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31
May your floors be sticky and your calling ordained. Love, Jami
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