Once in a while days like that happen to the very best of us. Days where you just want to be left alone. Days where you struggle to smile even though you should be happy. Days where every tiny thing feels like failure and the irking just keeps adding up. Days where you just aren't the person you intended to be.
Sometimes on these days it is hard to quietly manage the group of beautiful sweethearts that swarm my home. Sometimes I feel like as much as I love them I just want to lock myself in the closet for the day and try again tomorrow (oh the screaming and pounding that would ensue if I actually did lock myself in the closet).
I don't love days like that. Who does. Yet they still pop their heads up and enter life from time to time (darn them). Handling them is not pretty (at least for me). I do a lot of tongue biting and eye clenching and even take some extra trips to the bathroom (a door that locks where sans the two year old the kidlets know to let me be for a minute or two).
But then, these little sprites have a way of quietly noticing that their mother is not at her best and they just can't help but try to drag me out of my personal pit of despair.
And then you end up with an evening like this.
"Mom, come in the living room, we have something to show you." Parker proudly plays his new piano song as Aubrey tries desperately to sing along (not easy when an eight year old trips across the keys accompany his older sister who doesn't really know the tune).
Not to be outdone, Aubs decides to parade her song for me and Parker, who is disappointed that her song doesn't boast its own words, decides to dance for me instead.
Enter Gavin, running around the living room during the musical feast shouting, "I love you Mommy! I love you Mommy! I love you Mommy!"
Even the littles took a turn at the piano and made up their own etude for me to enjoy. (It is difficult not to smile when small children make up the music and words to their own personal piano sensation).
Even as Ellie climbed onto my lap screaming for no real reason, and Logan sidled in next to me flailing his little arms in fancy newly invented Karate moves, I had to admit that this difficult day had been salvaged.
There is just so much of life that can be heavy and fogged up. Sometimes it is hard to see the beauty of ordinary things, especially when you are frustrated and tired and worn down from the day after day after day. I am not someone who believes in enjoying every moment. Some moments, at least to me, are not intended to be enjoyed, they are simply there to be endured. And on some days enduring feels triumphant.
When the children are all in bed (finally) and the house is quiet and you can now breathe, and you love your sprites all the more because they aren't scampering all over the living room and jungle gyming across your lap and you can truly appreciate their adorable little faces because they look so sweet when they are sleeping...that is sometimes as much a win as planning the perfect day trip or arranging an incredible science project or solving the most traumatic sibling battle.
I am far from perfect when it comes to looking on the bright side and enjoying every small moment (it is hard to enjoy screaming and fighting and tormenting and mess making) but I am glad that no foul mood lasts forever and that these tiny glistening moments have a way of sprouting into life just when I need them most.
Because when it really comes down to it, even a bad day can be a beautiful thing.