Sunday, May 11, 2014

when you do mother's day solo

My morning at church has ended my two month writing hiatus. 

Sunday mornings are always a mad rush: we give rides, answer texts, have 1000 last minute ends to tie up and are almost always late.  It's really a shame. 

I also go to church by myself a lot.  It's okay, it's normal, I'm used to it, but it's never super fun and I always feel on the edge of mental breakdown fielding all the comments of where my husband is or how tired I look or hearing by myself which child misbehaved.

So today as I pulled up to the church and saw three cars in the parking lot I wondered for a moment if I was truly losing my marbles.  Maybe today was Monday.  Maybe I was an hour behind?  I drove the long way around and into the parking lot.  Still only three cars in the main lot, though I spotted a few more up above in the overflow parking spaces. 

"I guess we're just really early,"  I said to Jacob.  It felt ominous.

"I think we should just go look at the ducks in the park for a little while," he suggested.

"I know, it's like it's weird to be early.  We just can't hit it at the right time.  It's either way too early or late for us."

We're just going to embrace this early thing, I think, and in we go.

First of all, Eli and I must stop at the ladies' restroom; this is his very first Sunday at church in bona fide underpants. I'm not used to shuffling both of us into a bathroom stall and I promptly catch and slam my finger in the latch. 

It throbs.

It's actually bleeding. 

So that's awesome.

But he goes potty so that's really awesome.

I drop him off at Sunday school with extra underpants and promises to check on him. 

In my own class I sit and wonder why the universe still feels off.  I'm forgetting something.

I open the bulletin and what I'm forgetting jumps out at me.

Today is THE LAST DAY to turn in your child's camp registration money
As an exercise in futility I fish through my purse looking for a wad of cash.  Or perhaps the checkbook.  Who am I kidding? I never have a checkbook with me.  Who even writes checks anymore? I just gave my last bit of change to Cambria and Eli for their offering, so it's not an exaggeration to say that I'm penniless.
I sigh inwardly, leaving my coffee and early-to-church aura and slowly retrace my steps, swimming upstream through all the people who get to church at the proper time, get in the van, and drive home to find a checkbook. 
On my way home I see MFD's engine and my engine driver husband which is a nice reminder that my husband isn't home sleeping or out golfing. I already know this but it is nice to be reminded visually.
I stand in the kitchen and catch my breath for a moment, notice my now-cold coffee sitting on the counter and I stop and drink it.  I need caffeine.  I need a lot of patience.
I drive back to church.  I'm late.  I have missed all the coffee chat and sharing time.  Everyone is praying and I wait outside the doors to enter.  The universe is feeling on now.
During the worship service, I once again have the nagging feeling that I'm missing something.
the promises to take Eli potty.
This is becoming the most interrupted worship experience ever. 
We finish and try to leave and search high and low for Eli's missing shoe, do the potty thing again and finally arrive at the van.
The hatch is wide open.  
Why?  No one knows.  Apparently it's just been like that, sitting in the parking lot, with my back-up purse, gym bag and lawn chairs free for the taking.  Like, seriously? 
I think today was just not my day to shine. 
I don't know if it's ever my day to shine actually, but it really, really wasn't today.
I don't have a sweet spiritual wrap up to this: haven't had enough time to think of anything.
But to you, solo momma at church, at school, at the grocery store, at home, who doesn't feel like she's shining, Happy Mother's Day to YOU, cuz you're in the trenches and it's hard
and no one is rising up and calling you blessed
But I'm saying HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY to you.
You don't look a bit tired, your absent hubby must be a rock star, your children are all angelic and you're doing a great job.
The "moms with grown kids" from church treated the "moms with kids at home" to Moms' Night Out the other night.  Oh my goodness- go see it. 

Post by Moms' Night Out.

Postscript: {I'm saying postscript because saying PS sounds like peee S to me and I've seen enough pee this week}
Yesterday was the sweetest day of soccer games, family time, out to eat twice and doing yard work and porch swinging with my Daniel, who took the day off for me. So don't feel sorry for my solo mother's day or anything, I'm quite all right.  Back to potty training.


  1. Hayley-Happy Mother's Day to a beautiful mom and friend of the Summitt's. I am always awed at the way you hold your family together, and for what you do, day in and day out. You give so much to your family, and to the community in which you live thru your church! Your second visit to Africa-and all the good you and Dan did there is simply amazing by itself.
    Happy Mother's Day. Proud to call you a dear friend. God Bless you and your family...

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  3. So glad you've blogged again! I've missed you. I love how realistic you are.