I woke up early this morning full of an emotion I don't always recognize: hope. The early morning hours have always been a weird time for me. In my youth, my father would get us up early on occasion to help out in the family custodial business when we were too busy to get it done in the evening. In college, I was an early morning custodian for three years. The early morning hours are not all they're cracked up to be. Most mornings I feel a complete sense of dread. Some mornings I can feel down-right hostile. I have to remember to keep it in check, because these bizarro negative feelings will creep up in those early morning hours to the point where I'm looking for a one-way ticket to anywhere but home.
Maybe it was do to a great day at church (those sometimes rare church meetings where you feel complete love for everyone around you), the beginning of the holiday season, or the comets have alligned to put my biophysics in harmony--but I feel joy, joy, joy down in my heart just now. I feel renewed. I'm ready to make this holiday season the best possible for my girls and my husband. I'm ready to see the good in people, even those who I feel lack moral character. I'm ready to forgive flaws. I'm ready to get out of my comfort box and hug another sister or brother who I may not know. Similar to feeling motivated to do exercise, I'm motivated to be a better Christian.
Perhaps another reason for my hope may be that Melissa, my precious middle child, is making an effort to be potty trained. She made it to the toilet all by herself, without me having to drag her. I'm feeling like a very successful parent right now, because unlike Lilia, who did it mostly on her own, I have been the teacher, the instigator, the guide in helping Melissa be potty trained. I don't take her crying and "no's" for an answer. I haven't let her whining break me down and give up. I have stayed firm and committed. And yesterday--a breakthrough. She went poop on the toilet all by herself (after she went poop in her pants a few hours earlier, but I calmly changed her underwear and made her stand in a cold shower and said, "You poop your pants, you have to take a cold shower"). And if Melissa at 3 1/2 can be potty trained, there is hope for all of us.