I had reached my limit. My husband had been out of the country on business for a week and a half, the house was a mess, I was up to my eyeballs in laundry, and my kids were into everything. I had already cleaned up blue gel food coloring that day (super powerful stuff, let me tell you) that got everywhere when my extremely inquisitive 8-year old decided that since it was blue, it must taste good. (She had blue fingertips and lips for two days.) Frustrated and grumpy, I went to check on the status of our cat’s food, water, and litter box. I stopped, perplexed, when I saw wads of toilet paper scattered around the perimeter of the litter box. I asked my 6-year old if she knew why the toilet paper was there. She proudly responded, “It’s because I’ve been using the litter box!” Somewhat confused, I asked what she meant. “I’ve been using it like the cat Mom!” What?!? I cried tears of frustration as I cleaned out the box and the toilet paper mess.
Feeling wiped out and at the end of my rope, I sat down on the couch, replaying the day in my head. It was then that I got a text from one of my dear friends in Japan telling me that her son had just dropped a ping pong ball into the toilet, then used the toilet before telling her about the ping pong ball. I started to laugh, then began laughing so hard that I could barely breathe. The irony of us both dealing with potty issues at almost the same exact moment while on different parts of the globe was hilarious. She had no idea how my day had been going, yet her text was exactly what I needed. I told her what had happened at my house and then we were both laughing.
Sometimes in parenting, and life in general, we start to feel alone. We expect ourselves to be super heroes, doing it all by ourselves, and perfectly at that. The truth, however, is quite the opposite. We weren’t meant to walk a lonely path. In fact, God tells us, “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” (Isaiah 41:10) We need to remember that we are not alone. He is with us, and will help us and strengthen us. God knows us and our needs, and often fills those needs through those around us. We need to reach out to each other, because more often than we know, we will be the person God works through. Sometimes all someone needs is to know they are not alone and maybe a good laugh thrown in as well.