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     It was a phenomenal weekend. Plain and simple, it was the weekend that I needed to feel like me again. That is, as a woman and a person.... not a wife, not a mother, not an employee, not a taxi-driver. I re-found my soul, the core of who I am, and it felt amazing. With the fellowship of friends and an awesome church service, I was refreshed and rejuvenated. What's better yet? I found my kids to be much more tolerable (dare I say enjoyable??) in the midst of it! Now, it obviously helped that my mother-in-law had the kids for Friday evening and most of Saturday (three cheers for patient relatives, right?).... maybe we all needed some time apart. I sometimes forget that they may get just as sick of me as I sometimes feel of them! My husband always says, "How can I miss you if you never go away??" Maybe he's onto something. (Just don't tell him I said so.)
     I knew it was going to be a great day as soon as I woke up. This has nothing to do with my parental psychic powers and everything to do with the fact that when I came out of my room this morning, my children were cleaning their rooms. (I feel the need to pause for effect to let that set in for a moment....) THEY WERE CLEANING THEIR ROOMS!!! And I'm not just talking about making beds and shoving toys into their closets. Oh, no! When I cautiously peered into the first bedroom, I saw both kids sitting in the middle of the room, adorned in nightgowns (yes, my son wears an over-sized nightshirt to bed half the time... I can't seem to break him of this, but that's a post for another day), garbage can between them, and they were literally spring cleaning! the fall. Now, you have to understand, this is truly a big deal. I suffer from borderline OCD (self-diagnosed, yes, but I'm pretty sure there's merit to it... just ask my husband). And with this "mental illness" of mine, I have the tendency to, oh, freak out on occasion when the kids make confetti with their coloring pages and then leave said confetti all over the floor. Or when Cameron insists on keeping garbage in his room because NOTHING can be thrown away without a crying fit. Or when Legos get left in the patterns of the carpet, waiting to shove their grooved tops into unsuspecting tootsies.
     So when my kids smiled at me and said, "Good morning! We're cleaning our rooms and throwing away garbage!", you can imagine the sweet, sweet joy that coursed through my veins. It was like the spike of coffee mixed with the calmness of sleepy-time tea. Exhilaration meets Relief. Euphoria at its finest. But the best part wasn't even that they were cleaning.... but they were HELPING each other clean. There may or may not have been angels singing (I'm pretty sure I heard the opening chords of the Hallelujah chorus coming from under the bed....), but Lord knows I sure was! Well, right up until the part where Taylor decided that her room was clean and that Cameron was more than capable of cleaning his own room without her assistance... you know, since he did such a nice job on hers. I reminded her that it's rude to have someone help you and then not help them in return. So she said it's not that she didn't want to help, it's just that she realized she's still pretty tired. I enthusiastically suggested that a nap after church would be just the ticket for her drowsiness.... and then she decided that she really wasn't too tired to help him afterall. Good choice, little one, good choice.
     They may not be my blood, but I was all too aware when they picked up my bad habits (darn nail-biting and fear of those pesky spiders....). I should've known that the bad, as well as the good habits, can be passed on. Especially when those habits are as neurotic and obsessive as mine. If only this worked on husbands....