Get Your Warm Fuzzies When You Can

Last night was one of those idyll moments. All the kids were happy. I made supper and everyone ate their food. (Ok, one kid snuck his carrots into the trash can, but he ate everything else on his plate!) We had devotions and, for the most part, everyone sat and listened. Supper was a bit late, so we only had an hour before bedtime and the kids decided they wanted to listen to the Pandora Radio Disney station. So, we had the Disney music blasting. One kid was standing on the coffee table doing a great lip-syncing job, three girls were choreographing their best dances on the other side of the living room, the three youngest were playing some complex game that involved ninja moves and pushing each other around the dining room in a plastic wagon. I was sitting on the couch with my ten and twelve year old boys on either side of me. My husband was sitting on the other couch. I wanted to be sitting next to him, but my boys had voluntarily sat down next to me and it was kind of like one of those Wildlife Adventures, where you stand real still and try not to spook the wildlife. While my twelve year old is still willing to give me brief side-hugs, the ten year old has decided that all physical contact is “gross” and he will run away if you approach him with arms out-stretched. So, I was sitting real still, just enjoying the fact that he was leaning against me. The teenagers fled the scene and were hiding out in their room, but, hey, who needs teenagers? 

 

I was sitting there thinking, this is so wonderful, all of us just hanging out, the kids all happy. And then, I kid you not, the song from Lion King, “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” came on. And I got all teary-eyed. My husband raised his eyebrow, his expression saying, “What on earth is wrong with you?” I decided it was too complex an emotion to try and explain to him from one couch to the other while loud music was playing, so I just gave a watery smile. 

 

Ahhh, the Warm Fuzzies. So nice. 

 

A couple hours later, ten o’clock at night, to be precise, when my daughter ran into my room to tell me that the toilet upstairs had flooded and water was now coming down through the floor and into my downstairs hallway….I was not feeling so warm…Or fuzzy. Also throw in the fact that my husband had left after putting kids to bed to go help a friend with a remodeling project, and I was the only adult on the premises…and then when I texted him about the situation and his only response was “Plunge the toilet”, yeah, all the warm fuzzies were gone.

 

This morning, I sat and read my Bible while I cooked oatmeal. All the kids were still asleep. So nice. Just having a little quiet time in the early morning. Warm. Fuzzy. Then I went to get the bowls down from the cupboard and set them out. Hmm. What’s this? Apparently, whatever child had emptied the dishwasher last, had chosen to do so with really dirty hands. Every single bowl had dirty handprints on them. What on earth. Warm fuzzies gone. 

 

I dropped off my middle schoolers at their school and proudly watched them walk down the sidewalk. My eccentric dresser was looking especially eccentrically elegant. I smiled fondly. Instead of driving off, I had to sit where I was because the car in front of me, a tiny, new-looking, cute little car that had “Cooper” written across the back, was not moving. Instead of just ejecting her passenger, the mom was actually exiting her car so she could go open the cute little trunk of her car and remove her child’s band instrument. The mom was wearing this really cute sweater and snug jeans, her hair was done, and you could tell, even through the pre-dawn light, that she had on all her makeup. Then she hopped back into her cute little car and drove off. I was suddenly very aware that I was wearing my slippers, I hadn’t bothered to even put my hair up in a messy bun, I was wearing my three year old cheap Walmart sweater (cause it’s warm, and cozy) and I was driving a humongous 15-passenger van that will never be called cute. Warm fuzzies gone. 

 

So, I’m sure there is something profound in these observations. Not sure what though. 🙂 Warm fuzzies are great. I love them. They also don’t seem to last long. I guess, if I was needing warm fuzzies to get me through life, I’d be in a pretty bad place. But, if you are just letting those warm fuzzies be kind of like the occasional decadent dessert, it’s not a bad thing. Enjoy them when they come, savor them, and just accept that shortly afterward, you might be plunging a toilet. 

 

Confessions of A Car Hoarder

A couple of days ago I was at home with my two little boys. My alarm clock went off on my phone informing me it was time to get in my car and go pick up the kids from school. Well shoot. The baby was still asleep in his crib and I hated waking him up from his nap. I knew that he was barefoot and it was cold outside and I didn’t have time to mess with shoes, so I grabbed a pair of socks out of his dresser and then woke him up and quickly put his socks on him and ran out to the car with him and his brother. I had the heater going full blast and eventually it was downright hot. I noticed in my rear view mirror that Noah was pulling his socks off and dropping them on the floor. I instantly thought : Mental Note, we now have a pair of socks for Noah in the car…This could be added to other mental notes like when David took off his shoes: Mental Note, we now have a pair of shoes for David in the car, or when I was cleaning up trash off the floor, found some clean diapers and stuffed them in a little cubby: Mental note, we now have some clean diapers in the car…

It occurred to me that I might have a problem. I believe I am a car hoarder.

hoard

/hôrd/

noun

  1. 1.
  2. a stock or store of money or valued objects, typically one that is secret or carefully guarded.

Dictionary.com

I hoard objects in my car so that I will always be prepared for any emergency. Why, you may ask.. Well, lets see. There was the time that I loaded up about 7 kids into the car to go grocery shopping, got to the grocery store, started unloading the kids and then found out that one of my boys had somehow “forgot” to put on shoes. BUT! I was prepared! Another child had left a pair of flipflops in the car and so I was able to take those abandoned shoes and give them to the shoe-less child instead of having to load everyone up again and go home to retrieve shoes. Or, the time, recently, when I took two little boys to a doctor’s appointment, went to unbuckle the four year old and found out he had wet his pants and not told me about it. BUT! I was prepared! I found not only a clean pair of jeans on the floor of the car, but also a clean pair of underwear! Or there was the time that we were waiting in the car line and the baby was fussy and hungry and I had forgotten to bring a snack, BUT! I was prepared! There was an apple sitting on the dash that had been left from a previous day and a previous snack time.

My husband does not understand or sympathize with my car-hoarding tendencies. When I open my van doors, I see Preparedness. When he opens my van doors he sees MESS. Allcaps. Every once in a while I will bend to his disapproval and send my kids out to clean the car, or let one of my boys earn some pocket money and do it by themselves. Inevitably, the day after the car is cleaned out I run into an emergency. Ack! I forgot the diaper bag and the baby has a poopy diaper. I HAD DIAPERS AND WIPES RIGHT HERE ON THE FLOOR!!! WHY DID THE CAR HAVE TO GET CLEANED OUT!!

This is why I rarely clean out my car.

My husband would be quick to point out that I could keep a stash of supplies in the car in a nice neat box in the trunk and thus eliminate the need to be stepping on shoes and socks and diapers that now litter the floor of the car. I would be equally quick to point out that my brain doesn’t work that way, I am neither organized or neat. The only reason my car hoarding works is because it happens naturally, organically. Like fruit falling from the trees to the forest floor.

Of course, I love my husband and so I try to hide my hoarding from him or at least make it not so obvious so that it is not as irritating to him. He only drives in the van on Sundays. If I happen to drive on Saturdays, you will find me grabbing a grocery bag and stuffing it full of trash, grabbing a handful of cups and random water bottles, tossing things back behind the front seat so that it’s not as noticeable from the driver’s seat. See. That is love. Or maybe just affection? Or maybe just trying to avoid arguments with the least amount of work? Occasionally we use our van to drive around other people besides our family members. Then I will clean out the car myself, vacuum everything, wipe down sticky surfaces…I figure this happens often enough to keep my car from completely turning into a dump.

So, now you know. Esther is prepared for all occasions. As long as she is driving her van.