One day is today.
This is the day I longed for. It is the one with no baby to nurse or diaper to change. It has fully potty-trained children. It has three birds who have flown the nest. It brings the last of the first bunch of babies to launch this year, leaving me halfway to another one day .
One day the nest will be empty.
For years I stood in the laundry room in front of a stacked washer/dryer combination, pulling dry clothes out and dropping them into an empty basket, feeding clean wet clothes into the dryer, stuffing dirty clothes into the washer, longing for one day.
When I picture myself longing and dreaming, I am always standing in the laundry room.
Laundry was a large part of my life during that season of waiting for one day . One day the second bunch of babies would be grown. I could do something besides what I was doing. Something different. Not laundry and more laundry and feeding and changing diapers and chasing preschoolers and keeping up with tweens and teens.
One day there would be time.
I remember looking at those days of mothering littles in the trenches as my field experience. There were a lot of experiences to be had with eight babies, born over a span of sixteen years, bunched in groups of two, delivered to the least motherly person I know ~ Me!
I learned to fix meals on a budget and organize my time around the needs of both big and little people.
I learned to be present in fleeting moments and to appreciate my time at home, because there was not the option to be somewhere else.
I learned to set timers for work and play, and that the play timer was always set first. I learned that the play timer dragged by slowly while the work timer flew. Time flies when you’re having fun, you know!
I remember sitting in my counselor’s office as he challenged me not to wish my life away. I was ready to just be finished with everything. He kindly spoke truth and invited me to take a different perspective. You have ten people living in a house together. That’s messy. There will be Legos on the floor and more! He also recommended I talk to my doctor for additional help with depression.
And now, one day is today.
It is still full of parenting, though the laundry room boasts newer side-by-side models of washer and dryer, and I am no longer their primary feeder. The babies are growing into the tweens and teens and taking on more responsibility and attitude. The work timer gets set first these days.
Today finds me learning to live fully present with hopeful eyes towards future dreams. It grants a little more space to dream and reveals much more awareness of loss. It offers up thankfulness for wise ones who have gone before and reminded me not to wish away this one day.
Julie McClay lives in Virginia’s beautiful Shenandoah Valley with her high school sweetheart (and husband of 24 years) and 5 of their 8 children. She is learning that while it can be painful to face the past honestly while living in the moment and looking towards the future, it can be healing and lead to eh the hope of a brighter future. She digs through these thoughts and feelings here.