It’s raining here and as much as I hate to admit it, I’m thankful for the downpour.
I hope it rains straight through to Thursday.
I hope the raindrops wash away today’s popsicle mishaps and cause my weeping geraniums to drown.
I’m kinda over the pink flowers and the continual deadheading of the little suckers because in my brain, Fall has arrived.
Fall actually arrived last week when the temps soared to 93 degrees and I tossed out my pitiful hanging ferns and my dead-in-the-pot Gerber daisies and I declared that Summer was over.
I’ve been teetering on the edge of apples and pumpkins and hay bales and fires in the backyard for about 2 weeks, y’all.
Mama needs a routine.
And she needs the neighborhood fray to go back to school.
I passed out popsicles to all the men in the yard at 3:30 today. You’d have thought I was passing out $10 bills, because the boys came running as soon as I walked out the back door.
I had freckle faced kids and corn rowed kids and 2 kids that needed corn rows and one blond-haired kid, all lined up, pretty as you please. I smiled at them because they were actually cute and lovable and sweaty and quite charming as they waited their turn.
“Listen here,” I told them. “If I find the wrappers or the sticks in my backyard, I will whoop everyone’s hiney. Do you hear me?” I asked them.
They laughed and I looked at them like they had lost their minds and they stopped laughing. “Yes ma’am,” they said. “We’ll put our trash in the trashcan.”
I retreated back into the air conditioning where the whiny girls and the dishes in the sink waited for me and I actually rolled my shoulders back and held my head up high and gave myself a high-five.
(Actually, I gave myself 2, high 5’s, but that’s beside the point.)
“I’m making progress with these boys,” I thought to myself. “I’m the bomb.”
I gloated for nearly an hour.
(I know. I’m shameful.)
I washed sippy cups and bounced the crying baby, and all the while, I relished in what I’d been able to accomplish with these boys from down the street in just a few short months.
I was the bomb…
For about 2 hours.
Tonight, while skipping over the stones in the backyard and lugging bags of flax seed and whole wheat flour and organic coconut oil into the house, I counted the wrappers and popsicle sticks strewn across the ground and I cussed in my brain.
(No. That’s not quite true. I cussed under my breath, really loudly, to make sure that Jesus could hear me.)
I unloaded my arms and flung the back door wide open and ran all over the yard picking up the trash and cursing all the way, raindrops pelting me and making me even angrier.
“These kids make me crazy and they’re disrespectful and rude and ungrateful and they need a bath! Have they lost their minds? I will never give them another thing- not even a glass of water. I swear, I want to pinch their heads off. They have got some nerve.”
I counted 12 sticks and 4 wrappers and 4 random cups and broken water guns and 2 and half pairs of shoes and 1 scooter with a missing tire and I was enraged.
I slammed the backdoor and the lid of the trashcan and screamed at my boys, the ones who know better, the ones who encourage the fray to take up root in my yard and they crumpled under the weight of my words.
And I crumpled with them.
My house is settled in now and my people slumber under clean sheets and quilts, cool air blowing across their brow, and they’ll wake to a pantry full of food and a hug from their mean mama and clean clothes to wear on their backs.
They’ll eagerly await the fray and they’ll put band-aids on superficial wounds caused by the kids who don’t know any better and I’ll wait at the kitchen sink with a bag of $3 popsicles and a handful of grace.
And I’ll forget the way I felt today, the anger no longer simmering under the surface, the outrage gone…
Praying all the while, asking God to make much of my paltry offering- despite my ugly heart.