Sharing the Days

Blog / Produced by The High Calling
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It’s just nine in the morning, and I’m wishing to hear the garage door sliding shut, meaning Trenton is home, his bike parked.

And I’ve never told him, because I’m too embarrassed of needing him this way. This desperate schoolgirl way that jumps when I hear him stepping towards the door.

It’s only nine and I know we’re doing a good thing, taking in two more boys, and God is blessing us, and I’m not trying to be a super-hero. But I miss having just two boys. I miss sorting out my day calmly, as though it were laundry, towels from napkins, silks from cotton.

I used to cut Aiden’s peanut butter and honey toast, and I’d read my Bible while he ate it in his high-chair watching Thomas the Train, Trent bringing up Kasher from his crib after showering and me spooning pabulum and handing Trent his lunch and watching him bike off to the school where he’s a math and Bible teacher.

Before we became foster parents, the two boys and I would sometimes take the wagon to the store where we’d use our co-op share number to get groceries, and then we’d poke our heads in the window at the school and watch Trent teach.

But these days it’s caring for four boys under the age of four: filling sippy cups and buttering toast and cleaning up banana squished to the floor and changing dirty diapers and searching for socks that match. These days it’s Trent calling by the stairs, “Do you have a lunch for me?” and me, still in my bathrobe, not having had my coffee, thinking about the three books I’ve been contracted to write.

It’s nine now, and Aiden and Joey have had two time-outs because they’re both sick and extremely needy and fighting over everything. Jin has stuck his hand in the toilet and dumped porridge on his head, and Kasher has fallen down the stairs in his walker because I forgot to close the gate after feeding the guinea pig.

And now my eight-month-old has a black eye and I don’t think I can do this anymore. What kind of mother lets her son fall down the stairs in his walker?

So I scoop up Kasher and hold him against my pabulum-stained robe, close the door to my office, sit in the chair at my desk where my books remain unwritten, and rock my baby back and forth, back and forth, and try to pray, but I’m crying too hard.

And then I determine to convince God that I can’t do it anymore. I can’t write and do art, and be a mom, and a wife, and a foster parent, and Trent won’t get home until six today because he’s coaching basketball.

The day seems like a toilet paper kind of blank. And all I want is for my son’s eye to stop swelling.

And then Trent calls. And I weep into the phone and he reminds me, we can do this. Together.

Because tomorrow he has a half-day and he’ll take the kids to the farm and let me get some writing done. And tonight he has hockey, so I can do some more writing while the kids sleep. And he always has Fridays off, so he’ll take the kids then, too, and Kasher is reaching up and touching my face with his chubby hands. Like he’s blessing me.

Image by Teymur Madjderey. Used with permission. Sourced via Flickr. Post by Emily Wierenga, author of Chasing Silhouettes: How to Help a Loved One Battling an Eating Disorder (available August 2012)