Let me paint a little picture for you...
Earlier today, we left Bible study. I handed my two younger children their lunches. They happily munched while I drove and got a cold drink for me and a some juice for them...little treats for us all.
We happily listened to childrens music about dinosaurs, books, and doodle bugs. (A Laurie Berkner CD is one of their current faves.)
After glancing at the clock, I realized we had more than enough time to run the quick trip to the grocery store that I've been needing to do for a few days.
It's amazing that after having children for nearly six years and three children for two and a half years, that I somehow still think it's possible to have an uneventful trip to the store.
The shopping itself went rather smoothly. I may have mentioned a time or two that I wouldn't get the double seater cart next time if they didn't actually sit in it. Other than that, it was good. I let my little man pick out some yogurt and he thought he was big stuff.
By the time we'd checked out, I was nervously glancing at my watch. We had just enough time to load the kiddos and groceries and get to my son's school.
I was ten steps from the door when both of my children started asking for the bathroom. Well, truthfully, they asked earlier, but I assured them they could wait. It was clear from their faces they could NOT wait.
I sighed and headed to the bathroom. (Why do they always time these things so poorly?)
We went to the bathroom, little man to one stall and my two year old to another with me so I could help her. It turns out I wasn't much help. Somehow she got situated on the toilet so that she wet everything but the actual toilet. Her clothes, her shoes, my leg, and my shoes.
Now, in my head I was fuming, but my words were something like, "It's an accident, it happens to everyone sweetie." Of course, that isn't exactly true because I don't remember it happening to my other daughter, but I'm sure it happens. Again, I'm not sure why those things always happen when we're running late.
I got us both cleaned up and assured her that I had extra clothes in the van. I called for my son who loudly announced, "I'm going stinky." Of course he was. I saw a couple of people try not to grin or even act like they'd heard.
I sighed again and gave another glance at my watch.
A few minutes later I helped him wash his hands and we were off. I tossed the groceries and the kids in the car. (I was a bit more gentle with the kiddos.) I pushed that silly double seater cart right over my foot as I returned it to the cart corral. Perhaps that's why people don't return carts?
A woman noticed me get hurt and I simply mentioned it wasn't my day.
I slumped in the car and thought, "What did I just say?" Hadn't the earlier part of the day been just fine? Did the last ten minutes really define my day?
It was then I realized what has been one of my biggest challenges of parenting young children. I have a hard time remembering that moments are simply that, they are moments. It doesn't matter if they are filled with temper tantrums (mine and theirs), potty accidents, boo-boos, or otherwise. They are simply moments. Sure, some days have many, many more than others, but they still don't have to define our days.
I pondered that as I drove while once again jamming to some serious kids tunes. I took a deep breath and I put that moment behind us. As I did, I realized it was actually quite comical.
My son was on time for school. He walked in with a wave and a smile.
"Let moments be moments," is something I feel I'll probably be telling myself a lot from now on. Perhaps even a moment from now.