Yesterday I had 11 kids at my house for a period of time.
And it was snowy and freezing and downright horrid outside, but to the 11 children who roamed my halls, it was a snow day, which meant snowmen and snow caves and bathroom breaks and hot cocoa and in and out all over again.
I zipped and unzipped, pulled boots on and off and escorted one almost-potty-trained little man to the bathroom at least 74 times. It was exhausting.
All at the same time.
And my sister-in-law Jen was here (who is so much better at having 11 kids in the house than I am) and my mother-in-law Linda was here (who was happy to watch all 11 kids while Jen and I ran to finish our Thanksgiving shopping) and that made everything better.
And then something strange happened. After sending those extra five kids home, and making and devouring a delicious meal, and in the midst of two husband and the remaining six kids, Jen and I sat at the kitchen table and made cards. We littered the table with our supplies, ignored the whines and the rants of the little people, and sat together creating some beautiful cards. Some that said thank you and others happy birthday and I felt a calm come over me. A calm that erased the stresses of the day and reminded me that I can handle 11 kids on a snow day, as long as I get to make cards at the end of it all . It was peaceful and invigorating and just what I needed. And I can't wait to make some more.
I don't know why I do that. Why I assign an annoying guilt to doing something for myself. My husband was happy to work around my mess. My children were engaged in creating their own versions of what I was doing. Jen and I fueled each other's creativity and relaxed into a comfortable rhythm of passing this and that back and forth. I really don't know why I do that.
But I was reminded tonight why I need to stop. Why I need to create, in my own small way, the things that make me glow. And right now? In my warm house that smells of spiced grapefruit?