Yes. I was one of "those." One of the parents that waited until the night before school started to purchase school supplies. Call me crazy but I fed the kiddos, loaded 'em up into the trusty Hot Momma Mobile and headed to Wal-Mart with my lengthy 2nd grade school supplies list in hand. In my defense, I had tried the night before to purchase one of those nifty "we-bought-it-all-for-ya-and-wrapped-it-in-shrink-wrap" box thingies at the school but they only accepted cash. The two dollars in my wallet didn't quite cover it, so off I headed to our Nation's Largest Superstore.
I can tell ya it only goes downhill from here, folks.
You see, Daniel had some Gummi Lifesavers. And he gave one to Jacob. And once you give one of anything to my 20-month old human garbage disposal, he is gonna whine and moan and crawl out of his skin until he gets another...and another...and we were in that mode as we entered the gates of Hell (otherwise known as the front entrance of Wal-Mart).
After successfully negotiating my cart with a monkey climbing half-in, half-out while Daniel thrust every school supply bearing a Transformer in my face, I made it to the rows of blue bins containing the requisite materials common to most area schools. I looked like I was on a timed shopping spree as I moved from bin to bin tossing glue sticks, erasers, markers and crayons in as fast as I could to avoid an impending toddler meltdown. But, alas, I was too late.
"Sit down, Jacob."
"Sit down on your bottom right now. Jacob. Sit. DOWN." I try once again to fasten the black seat belt around his waist but it would not latch.
"Jacob. Momma said SIT DOWN"
SCREEEECH! Whaaaaaaaaaaaaa........... one pack of glue sticks overboard.
The back arches. The screeches continue. But I must get ziplock bags which are clear across the store. They might as well be in Wyoming. I'm just sayin.
My spawn are obviously tired of being in the store and their Momma is about to reach her saturation point. As we take a shortcut through the clothing section to get over to the ziplock bags, the devil disguised as my toddler grabs every piece of clothing we pass and yanks it to the floor.
"No touch, Jacob. Jacob, no touch! Daniel will you pick up that shirt for me?"
Are they going to ban my child from the 2nd grade if he doesn't produce a box of Ziplocks? I weigh my options and decide to forge on. Ziplocks in hand, I trudge up to the backed up checkout lines with Jacob now in the main part of the buggy throwing items overboard as if he is in a rowboat taking on water. We finally check out, make it to the car and proceed home.
I recount that story because, just a short eight hours later, I looked upon that same child...the child I had declared publicly on aisle 14 was the Spawn of Satan...and wondered how I was ever blessed enough to be his mother.
You see, a friend of mine had told me about a meteor shower that would be happening sometime overnight. Always one to try and not miss those type events, I set my alarm for 2:22 (a nice even number) and crawled into bed. I then realized that I indeed need my sleep with it being Daniel's first day of school so I caved, changed the alarm and went to sleep.
"Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa". My child's cries, as always, awoke me with a startle. I looked at the clock "3:07am." The meteor shower! I retrieved my child from his crib and went out on the front lawn. The air was only slightly crisp with a warm breeze as I surveyed the sky full of stars above me.
And then I began to sing. "Delta Dawn, what's that flower you have on? Could it be a faded rose from days gone by?" The song I sang to Daniel and the song that my grandmother used to sing me to sleep slowly lulled my child into a light slumber. Suddenly, a ball of fire shot across the sky and caused me to jump slightly. I had been watching the little streamers of shooting stars but the three fire blazing streaks that I witnessed within minutes of each other were amazing, breathtaking even.
And then it all came full circle for me.
Parenthood is made up of the nerve-bruising, patience-testing, character-building experiences like I had had had in Wal-Mart that evening tempered with the soul-soothing, faith-restoring, mind-easing moments like I was having on my lawn at that moment. Children test our limits and work our nerves and make us wanna pull our hair out at times; however, there are always gonna be those moments when it seems like it's all worth it. Every trial. Every tantrum...all seemed worth it to me as I glimpsed into Jacob's baby blues as he soaked in the wonder of the night sky above him.
It was a magical moment indeed and one this momma will never forget.