The week after vacation is always difficult. We spent time last week in the mountains of NC with Grandma and Grandpa and then drove a little further west to Mimi and PopPop’s house, where we got to see both of my sisters (and Dragon). John came to the mountains, but left me on my own for the Tennessee trip.
As per usual, I was freaking out for at least a week before traveling. I can’t help it. It happens every time and it is a chemical reaction, I’m sure, to prior moments of vacation-with-small-children stress.
I have to admit that despite my Christian school upbringing and once over-zealous attitude about sharing and praying aloud in rooms full of people, in my adult life I have taken a back seat when it comes to corporate prayer and the sharing of requests. I guess my perspective has changed. As many around me are dealing with cancer and unemployment and wayward close family members, somehow “I get a lot of headaches,” doesn’t seem as big of a deal on Sunday morning as it maybe did on Thursday.
But the Sunday that we left, I broke my silence and did one of those St. Paul style admonishments for prayer in the direction of sanity for me and my children on our trip (especially the long drives without a fully loaded mini-van) and the transition to single parenthood for more than twenty-four hours. All this, to the giggles of my Sunday School class, who must have truly believed my Xanax and alcohol comments were just a joke.
But let me say, people delivered.
We had quite possibly the best vacation we’ve ever had with children. The girls (especially Eliott) were angelic. I actually felt rested and relaxed. I wasn’t annoyed and overwhelmed and doling out threats and punishments as I’d prepared for. They slept really well at night. Carter took super long naps. Family members were all really helpful and not in the over-spoiling way that just riles my kids up and them dumps crazy back on me for bathtime. I mean. It was weird. Dreamlike. It gave me hope for the future.
Then we got home.
Clearly, the prayers only covered “vacation.” And man, God, aren’t you specific. Love that.
I’m not sure exactly what was pulsing through the veins of them this week, but it was scary. Both children turned on me like I was the enemy and took defiance, whining, and that kind of demand that only children can produce to a new level. Every night at about
five four o’clock three-thirty I was cursing the fetus for preventing me from sedating treating my anger and annoyance through something a little stronger than a runner’s high.
But yesterday apparently marked the end of the marathon power struggle. The fact that I’ve finished two cups of coffee this morning (uninterrupted), I’m blogging (uninterrupted), and both children are currently singing VBS songs while decked out in dress up clothes in another room, tells me that I won. (Or someone on the Sunday School list serve is a week behind and praying again, whatever, I’ll take it.)
In other prayer news (those of my five year old, this time), both my sisters were offered real jobs this week.
Lesson: prayer works. If this has not been your experience and you are geared up to present one of those compassionately anti-religious arguments, I might submit that you have not found the person (people) with the direct line to heaven to dump all your requests on.
My daughter is a good starting place. My Sunday School class is currently coming in second.