For years I've been in, what my close friends refer to as, the trenches of motherhood. The trenches are the years when you learn the lyrics to EVERY High School Musical song by heart, have extended discussions about the nuances of your children's behavior patterns, capacity for academic learning and their social skills.
It goes almost without saying that in the trenches you are sleep-deprived and often make meals out of things like grilled cheese sandwich crusts.
What doesn't go without saying and bears repeating is the process of getting out of the trenches isn't a long slow climb. For me, it comes like bursts of sun through the clouds. The grey skies split apart and suddenly there it is...completely within my grasp. INDEPENDENCE
My most recent sunburst came last week. The kids and I were headed to the grocery store. I had a lot of shopping to do and was dreading the inevitable demands for junk food, silly behavior and whining that have made up a part of every grocery store trip with kids for the last decade.
Then I had a sun breaking through the clouds moment. Why make the kids shop with me when they are old enough to shop on their own. I grabbed a mini cart and said, "Guess what!?! You guys get to be in charge of your own snacks this summer." They both looked at me like I was speaking Mandarin but after a moment my words sunk in and off they went, big sister, little brother, in search of the holy trinity of junk food (sugar, salt and soda).
I took my mama sized cart and filled it up with the healthy stuff. Every so often I'd turn down an aisle and see them weighing the merits of Pirate's Booty or Hostess Donettes. I found everything I needed in record time, collected my children and headed to the check out.