by Kathy Pomaville Pate
Big deal. I’m standing in my kitchen staring out the window. That’s nothing new. I often gaze into the woods in our backyard, trying to seek a peaceful moment with God. But at that instant I could feel nothing but a kernel of uncooked popcorn imbedding itself in the heel of my right foot.
Four hours had passed since I stepped out of the shower, but it wasn't until then that I discovered I hadn't rinsed the conditioner out of my hair. Not surprising, really. I had managed to get one-half of one leg shaved when three of my four little darlings needed me. I tried tuning out the wails, but it was useless.
Natalie, who’s 6, was crying and frustrated with the homework I had given her. Four-year-old Jared was whining that nobody loved him because I had refused to snap his pants while I was in the middle of shampooing my hair. Julia, my two-year-old, was screaming uncontrollably because a ladybug was crawling on her shirt.
Just when I thought there’d be no more interruptions, the fire alarm malfunctioned. I’m not sure what was louder — the six interconnected alarms shrieking loud enough for the neighbors to hear — or my children’s panicked screams and cries.
At that moment I gave up the idea of having two legs -- and two pits -- completely shaved.
When the phone rang just before noon, I couldn't help but answer it, "House of the tired and the weary. How may I direct your call?" It was my husband, Patrick. He was laughing. I wasn’t.
By noon, Julia was screaming (again) because a fly was buzzing around her in the kitchen. I couldn’t rush to her aid because I was dealing with the bomb in my newborn’s diaper. Julia took matters into her own hands and flung her purple popsicle at the fly. The barely eaten, melting treat landed in my carpet and spattered the wall.
I looked at the smears of yellow poop on my forearm. I took a sip of my thrice-reheated cup of coffee -- which was now as cold as the popsicle -- and belted out a phrase from a sitcom of yesteryear. "SERENITY NOW!!"
And it came. Serenity came. You see, I caught a glimpse of a card that someone sent me. It was perched on the window ledge above my sink. The card simply stated, “Know what? You’re nice to know.”
At that moment I forgot I was a mother, teacher, wife, maid, chef, domestic engineer and woman extraordinaire. I forgot that I was standing on a kernel of uncooked popcorn. I remembered that I was Kathy Pomaville Pate -- an individual who could be liked for just being me. What a happy thought. Someone other than a family member -- who relies on me to kiss boo boos, wash blankies and paint toenails -- thinks I’m cool.
Motherhood clearly has its intrinsic rewards, but sometimes it's just nice to hear you're appreciated and liked beyond the role of mother. What’s even greater is when you remember that this is all part of God’s wonderful plan — everything from being a homeschooling mother of four to being the recipient of a seemingly simple little card.