Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A Barrel of Monkeys

Real Life sometimes hits you in the oddest of moments.
This has been a busy morning. We have yet another rainy day and I have a list of things to accomplish a mile long. There is no school for my oldest pumpkin today and she is bouncing off the walls. During breakfast I was able to do my writing for one of my favorite "foodies", and the subject matter made me HUNGRY! Once the kitchen clean up was finished after breakfast, it was immediately time to make lunch. I wondered if I could fit in a batch of homemade cookies in the process? Sure, why not? When you have this much to do in one day a batch of cookies does not make or break you. An added benefit is that it grabs the attention of two children for a full forty five minutes. Once lunch was over and the promise of cookies after a nap is lulling around in their heads, nap time is coming along pretty nicely. One down one to go... I am sitting on the couch fumbling with a Barrel of Monkeys and my three year old is showing me how "Daddy does a double monkey". I am intrigued I realize, not because of the feat of the double monkey, but because I realize that my house at times is just like this game. A Barrel of Monkeys, and I am trying to string everything together nicely. Let's face it, one mom, two children under four, a big lumbering dog, and two cats spells chaos in any sense of the imagination. House clean and perfect- no. Children clean and perfect- no. Mom- most certainly no. One of the cats has just chased the lumbering dog in a round about that has ended with the papers from my morning's writings everywhere. My phone conversation with my little sister in Florida earlier had me thinking the tiredness in her new mom's voice echoed mine. I jokingly said, "it takes a village". A large part of me wasn't joking. It is no wonder we are all so tired all of the time. I think we now live in an age where demands on each family unit are so great that the "village" no longer exists. I used to think, too, that the reason of people living apart was the main foible. Now I know this is not the case. Even people who live right next door do not always have the ability or time to pitch in- and this goes both ways. I cannot tell how many times I have been phoned for a favor that I just could not do at that moment. You feel terribly about it but also realize that one more thing under your nose at that moment and all things might just go haywire. Just like that chain of monkeys, the likelihood is that it will all fall apart if I try to do one more thing. The economy demands that we use every spare moment right now just trying to survive, but none of the other "work" lets up either. It is the busy time for growing food, maintaining the house outside, and most families have children at home now that school has let out. So how do we cope? I find that we have to begin to get a "village" mentality back in our lives. I find this a topic of conversation more and more amongst my friends. A very close friend said recently, and I am paraphrasing, that we have to find a way to keep what is good in our circle. I have taken this to heart. What changes will occur in my life as I get back to the business of survival in this tough economy will be taken with this advice in mind. Who knew a little children's game could open up so much space for reflection?

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