I was having a rough day. Mike is gone for two days for work. I'm in charge of a big youth group event tomorrow and had to make some decision and phone calls about that today. Sarah was argumentative, moody, rude, and acting like a spoiled brat. Noah was annoying her and making it worse, and the two of them were fighting. Sarah dissolved into tears because there are no Fuji apples in the refrigerator. Teaching school was frustrating. I had break the news to Noah that his chinchilla died. All day I was looking forward to gymnastics, because it's not my night to drive the carpool. At 4:30, the mom whose turn it is to drive called and said her daughter isn't going tonight so she's not driving. I almost cried. I still had to get everyone fed, finish grading math, go over the corrections with them, water the garden, etc. etc. etc. and now no hope of any kind of reprieve. In a moment of desperate selfishness, I asked my facebook friends if anyone could take Sarah to gymnastics. One of them responded right away that she could, and I immediately felt guilty. I almost never shirk my parental responsibility and put it on someone else. But she was willing and available, and I was mentally unstable, and Sarah was excited about the opportunity to talk to someone besides me, so I gratefully accepted the help.
I've been watching a nest of robins for a couple weeks. Today, three of the babies flew clumsily out of the nest and started hopping around the yard and testing their wings by taking short haphazard flights. They were all squawking for food, help, and/or attention, and the mother robin was working her tail off, digging up worms, feeding the babies on the ground as well as the one still in the nest, keeping track of all of them by herself. At least one of the babies was always following closely behind her, chirping incessantly. The mothers in nature always convict me and inspire me when I think I'm having a hard time. You never see a mother robin just start flapping around, pecking her husband, smacking her babies with her wings, spinning out of control, and screaming like a maniac. They're always loving, calm, gentle, and in control, doing their job without complaint or fanfare. Lord, make me more robin-like.