It’s Maundy Thursday, and the truth is, I haven’t felt very Lenten.
It hasn’t felt like Holy Week this week since, on Sunday, I stayed home with a double-ear-infected child and missed the palm-branch waving. I’m kind of grumpy about that. I’ve been kind of grumpy that it’s spring break for the public schools this week and so nobody else seems to care it’s Holy Week either. I’ve been kind of grumpy about the fact that all of us are sick for the seventeenth time this year, and I’m a little tired of following children around the house with tissues while hardly being able to breathe myself without coughing up a lung.
So there’s that. Lots of grump.
And then this morning it was warm, so I said we could go outside and play for a little bit. The toddler ran out onto the deck in socks because the neighbors were already outside getting into their van (and she’s an unashamedly nosy creature, which she gets from her mother), and then before I even had time to pour myself a cup of tea, she hollered that it had started raining and scurried her little feet back inside.
Some seasons are just grumpy seasons. Days, weeks, months, years. Call it Lent if you want. Or call it life. I call it motherhood. That’s how it feels to me.
And then it rains and you feel even grumpier until you hear those drops on the back deck and the windows on the north side of the house and you remember something. Something you’d forgotten. You like rain. You do.
I do, at least.
I’d almost forgotten because it has been awhile since I’ve been able to enjoy it.
In that hazy, previous life before children, I would open the windows when it rained and squat down by the floor and breathe in that strange beginning-of-downpour scent and open up the laptop or the journal or get out the scrap paper and write. I used to run in the rain or walk in the rain or just reach my hand out the door and feel the rain on my bare skin.
With little ones circumnavigating me during all waking hours, however, this just doesn’t happen anymore. Rain means I stay inside and incubate germs. And get grumpy about it. Windows stay closed because the draftiness generates whininess and goose bumps. With little ones, the only rain I hear is the white noise machine imitation of rain.
Three years into this business of motherhood, and I’m pretty tired of the white noise, girls. Pretty darn tired of it.
Rain has always Inspired me. Capital-I Inspiration. There’s something alive and refreshing and starting-the-day-or-week-or-month-or-season-over that happens when it rains.
And I need those do-overs.
I need to be reminded, as I remind you when you grump about the weather, that God created the world to work this way. Rain nourishes the ground so the lettuce seeds in the garden can germinate. Rain nourishes. Seeds germinate.
We get a do-over.
Lent’s nearly over and, I’ll be honest, it’s unlikely that the upcoming weekend is going to be very meditative for me. Good Friday. Holy Saturday. Easter morning. They’ll come, I’ll go through the motions, tissues and cough drops in hand, maybe get around to filling that antibiotic prescription, and then they’ll be over. I’ll probably be a little grumpy. Or a lot grumpy. But, girls, that’s okay. That’s the way it is sometimes.
Because today, today, I did open the windows downstairs for a little while. I did listen.
And when your feet got cold, I put socks on you.