by Stephanie Pletka
We’ve been visiting family up North for the summer, where the six of us have shared two bathrooms in a small condo, for an extended period. It was only a matter of time before the kids clogged the toilet. I bought a plunger, and worked on it, to no avail.
It would pretend to flush; the water would rise, swirl and sit, as if it were taunting me. All night long, one by one from 1-4am, little pitter patters of feet would enter our bedroom to go pee. They were like my great grandma with a bladder problem. It was a turn style of kids coming from dusk till dawn. With blood shot eyes and delirium setting in, I had to make a decision. This was death con 5!
I needed to call maintenance, and fast. When he arrived, 24 hours later, I could have sworn he was wearing a cape, my super hero, a knight in shining armor, holding the golden plunger. As he worked on the ceramic throne, doubt began to set in, as to whether this would be a quick fix. He came back a 2nd time with with a bigger tool, one that grabs whatever is causing the problem, and to our surprise, he pulled out the biggest . . . CUCUMBER you’ve ever seen.
No, this is not a code word for something, it was seriously, a cucumber, a BIG ONE; as in farmer’s market, eat your veggies or no dessert, cucumber. I almost died of embarrassment. He said he had pulled out a lot of things in his day, but NEVER, a Cucumber!
I had my guesses to what it would be, but a large vegetable was not one of them. It looked like someone took little bites to see if they liked it and DID NOT, so instead of throwing it in the trash, because mommy wouldn’t like that, they quietly flushed a large cucumber down the toilet; hence, our clogged up toilet became our clogged up life.
Do you ever feel like your life is backed up. Too many kids talking at once, hungry, homework, ballet, dinner, football, girlfriend/boyfriends, attitudes, budget issues, a crisis at every corner? I mean there’s only one of you, right? Who can handle all of the chaos? It’s enough to bring a top Executive to their knees. Gold stars to the motha’s.
Imagine if in the blink of an eye, it was all gone; the kids, your spouse; in a blink there was a car accident, a fatal diagnosis, loss of a job. Does the busy-ness of life, the to-do list, the hurry hurry, let’s go, run, get in the car, I’m angry, stressed, do what I said now, because I said so, mentality really take top priority?
The drama we allow in our lives, brings the “hyper” that ruins the goodness.
We need new perspective. “S.A.T.”
1. Step away, check out for the weekend.
This brings new perspective; collect your thoughts, re-strategize. We tend to live life in a rut of schedules and same-old routines. Take a detour and see life in a new light. Call your kids and listen to their voices on the phone, (they sound so much younger and innocent). Believe me, it works. Those sweet little tendencies to strangle them, will fade away.
2. Act as the Gate Keeper.
In a heart beat, life can clog over forces we allow to enter through the front door; and when it affects you, it affects them. Protect the nest. You’re the boss, the chief, the resident gate keeper. Your kids, your spouse look to you as their guide. You are more powerful than you think. They look to you to determine if their world is OK.
3. Take Charge
Life is what you make it. Determine, as a family, what dreams and goals you want to accomplish. Are you a family who loves to travel, has an affinity for history; perhaps reading, sports, hiking, photography? Cultivate this atmosphere. In doing so, you’ll create a stronger tie that binds.
Don’t let the “cucumbers” of life, the negativity, gossip, stress, anger and hurriedness get in the way of the Goodness. Take a deep breath and remember to enjoy the little moments: the laughter, the late night talks, the funny questions and unusual perspectives that only kids can bring.
Here’s to living a “Clog-Free life in the World of Cucumbers!
Phil. 4:13 I can do All things through Christ who gives me strength.