Monday, November 14, 2011

On Monday

There are days when it seems a miracle to be able to make dirty things clean. - Kathleen Norris.
One of those days: No got enough sleep. Everyone woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Tempers have been lost. Patience is thin. Tears have fallen. The only exercise some folks are getting is jumping on Mom's last nerve.

And then...

Because it is up to Mom to change the atmosphere, yes, even on Monday...

Deep breath.

Soften the tone. Smile, even though you feel like throwing yourself on your bed, after slamming the bedroom door of course. Wouldn't a slammed door be just the thing?

But you don't do that.

You smile. You pick up the papers the baby scattered all over the kitchen floor.
You soften your tone, deliberately lowering your voice.
You help wipe up the spilled sugar, all those thousands of tiny grains of sugar.
You put away the clean dishes and assign a child to help.
You help solve a tricky math problem.
You encourage a struggling writer.
You gently wipe a nose. Again.
You help soothe a cough. A spoonful of honey is good for more than just the cough. 
You start preparing supper, food that will cook all day and warm and nourish the kitchen and the family in more ways than one.

And the atmosphere, little bit by little bit is changing.
The baby is down for a much needed nap.
Spontaneous apologies ("I'm really sorry") smooth over strained sisterly relations.
A bigger sister helps a little sister set up a dollhouse.
Someone starts singing while she does her school work.
The kitchen looks cleaner than when you started.

Looks like good old Ben Franklin was right again:
An hour's industry will do more to produce cheerfulness [and] suppress evil humors than a month's moaning.
That hour of industry may feel like a herculean effort. But at the end, the miracle will have worked again.

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