Should I wash them off? Is it worth the time when I know they'll be back on again by the end of the day? Are they some sort of badge of honor for Motherhood (with a capital 'M')? Or just evidence of semi-lazy motherhood (small 'm')?
"Mama, I want a cough drop!"
Does he really need one? Is all that coughing real or put on to coax out of an un-suspicious mama what my children consider to be just-as-good-as-candy? How much coughing is evidence of a real need for a cough drop? Is this one of those moments to just give in?
"Na?? Mama? Na??"
Is he really hungry and wanting a snack? Or is he just wanting my attention? If I put cheerioes on the chair instead of picking him up and reading to him, does that make me a bad mom? If he throws all the cheerioes on the floor and I pick them up and put them right on the edge of the table where he loves to grab things, will that buy me another five minutes?
"Mama! I can't do FORTY-EIGHT math problems in ONE DAY!"
I know she can, but should she have to? Is it too much? Is she getting enough time to just be a kid? Is that even important? Is she learning patience, endurance, wisdom along with her reading, writing and math?
Questions, uncertainties, wonderings swirl around in my head in the midst of all the daily run-around. My mind is on a merry-go-round, a tilt-a-whirl-- the juggler spinning plates on poles.
But what I'm really asking is, can I do this? Am I adequate? Is this working? Will they be ok? Do they know I love them? How can I protect them? Prepare them? What do I do now? How did I get here?
By the Grace of God
...answers all my questions.