"AAAARRRRGGHHHHH, MATEY!!!", the alarm rang out loud and clear, just as the first droplet of saliva was threatening to spill onto my pillow. "AAARRRGGGHHHH, MATEY!!" came the alarm's echo.
My alarm clock just turned four at the beginning of February. He's a very immature, impulsive four, and so very not ready to be labelled a preschooler, so I shall refer to him as Alarm Clock Toddler.
Alarm Clock Toddler is a spirited concoction that God purposefully designed with beautiful, big blue eyes trimmed in gorgeous lashes. He was then gifted an impish sparkle with which to light up those baby blues, and an equally impish grin (a "naughty grin" per se), to take the sting out of many of his unwelcome antics. In short, God made Alarm Clock Toddler adorable so he's far less likely to be throttled.
And then there is darling Echo Toddler, barely two. Short, bespectacled, and beyond-belief adorably dimpled and pudgy, Echo Toddler has vocabulary skills equal to the Alarm, but with perfect baby pronunciation. He spends his days (and early mornings) trying to duplicate whatever Alarm Clock Toddler does...and attempting to not be bowled over, squished, trampled, or otherwise maimed by him.
This particular morning was nothing out of the ordinary for Alarm Clock and Echo, or for me. Nor was it out of the ordinary to hear an urgent tap-tap at my door, followed by the muffled voice of a certain seven-year-old big brother, who we'll call The Informant. Wiping the nearly-escaped spittle from my mouth, I shook the cobwebs from my brain and trudged to the door to hear a first-hand account of what Alarm Clock and Echo were up to.
So you know that little kit with the strap and screws that you get when you buy a new dresser? Kinda wishing I hadn't tossed it aside and ignored the subsequent step in the instructions that boldly stated "Affix dresser to wall." Let's just say that Alarm Clock Toddler learned the hard way that dresser drawers don't make good stairs. Thankfully, the only casualty was Alarm's doggy bank, but as I struggled to lift the dresser and clear away decapitated doggy-bank pieces to the tune of a screaming newborn, I could tell it was going to be "one of those days."
It was. The morning was full of clutter, hyperactivity, arguments, rolling eyes, unfolded laundry, spilled milk, sticky hands, runny noses and poo. Miss Tween (shockingly) was in a foul mood, The Informant was playing with Legos during chore time, and the Sparkly-Unicorn Girl was doing ballet during math time. Alarm Clock Toddler, who is really a nudist at heart, was seen streaking naked through the parlor on more than one occasion, and Echo Toddler screeched every time he came near, afraid (with good reason) that Alarm was going to rip his toy out of his hands. And the baby cried. And cried. And cried. And cried.
Just as my calm façade was beginning to crack, Alarm Clock Toddler pinched Echo's fingers in the piano, and with a wailing Echo on one knee and a wailing newborn on the other, I sat cross-legged on the parlor floor, staring into space, wishing I had the energy to wail along with them.
Here is the truth of my life:
I am not enough.
The world is constantly telling people "You can do it! You're good enough! You can do whatever you want to do. You're strong enough! You've got this! You can do anything you put your mind to. You are enough!" But if there's one thing I've learned in this adventure of parenthood - in this adventure of life - it's that all these things are lies. I will never be enough.
I wasn't enough when I brought my first little darling home from the hospital.
I wasn't enough when I signed my name and promised to love two hurting children through whatever came.
I wasn't enough when I brought home that second little bundle, or the third, or the fourth, or the fifth.
And now, as the Mama to seven of the most precious people to ever grace this planet, wonderful little people who bring so much joy and insanity and heartache and wonder and exhaustion,
I am completely, totally and definitely not enough.
On this one particular morning, sitting criss-cross applesauce in the chaos of my everyday life, God gave to me the most beautiful thought:
I am not enough. But Jesus is.
He makes my life beautiful.
And He makes me beautiful.
He takes what little I have to offer, and He makes it enough.
"I think your fingers are okay, Bubby. Let's go get you some milks."
"My fingers are otay," said Echo. "Let's go get me some miwks."