Dickens on Motherhood

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times….”


I think Charles Dickens must’ve had small children when this famous line ceremoniously plopped itself into his genius mind.

Audrey is home sick, today, which is actually not part of the “worst of times” reference. I’m very sorry that she’s not feeling well, but I’m secretly (or not-so-secretly) happy to have a whole day with her at home. I miss my time with that kid.


So we’ve been spending our time reading, coloring, watching TV, eating chicken noodle soup and fruit smoothies….

…and doing all. the. laundry.




Laundry fo days.


But seeing as laundry is actually my favorite chore because I can think quietly while I sort and switch, and pray for my family as I fold their underwear, the day hasn’t been half bad. It’s been made even better by the fact that Audrey has been extra charming today, telling me really funny jokes in between coughs, reading her Bible, and journaling her prayers. About an hour ago, she said, “Mom, do you mind if I get a different colored pen? I think God’s talking to me so I’m going to write in different colored ink and put it in capital letters, since God is so great.”

Me *trying to wipe the stunned stare off my face*: “Um. Sure!”


It was now Willa’s turn for an interruption. “Mom! I need new underwear!”

“Crap,” I think to myself. “Literally.”

When I enter the bathroom I don’t immediately see the carnage, until Willa informs me that her PJ’s and undies are in the bathtub. When I pull back the curtain it looks like a crime scene. Wonderful. And then, because this is actually not the first time this has happened, I ask to check her new underwear since she doesn’t have a history of, shall we say, uh, thoroughness in cleanup.

Yes. Just as I suspected.

So now we have not one, but TWO pairs of underwear in the trash (there was just no recovery this time), and one pair of jammies needing to be washed out and stain treated. We also have one wailing preschooler because the loss of those particular pairs of undies was devastating, apparently.

Ah, yes. Motherhood. One minute, we’re climbing the heights, riding the wave of pride and abundant joy, and utter shock that our constant prayer and investment might be taking root somehow. And the next, we’re elbow deep in feces.

“And on the eighth day, God said ‘Let there be three year olds, in order to humble and sanctify their mothers.’ And God saw the carnage and said, ‘It is good. …for building their character.’”

--Genesis something or other

To quote Dickens again, “God bless us, every one.”

"...even the three year old."


I think my mom said it best when she summed it up succinctly and wisely: “Simultaneously achingly sweet and acridly messy...kind of like life.”