Last Updated on March 11, 2024

{Editor’s Note:  Mom’s you are doing an awesome job of being mom … sometimes others forget ALL that you do!  Just know there are pom pom’s waving here at MomLife Today and all you do is seen and noticed by your Father in Heaven.  Grandmother’s (and friends) enjoy providing some help…even when it wears them out.  Ask for help, your kids will survive!}

Last weekend my husband and I were in our cars at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday morning driving the one and a half hour distance to our daughter’s home. It was the beginning of a four-day adventure in babysitting the five sons of our daughter and son-in-law. I’d survived the same challenge in late October by myself for four days, so as I drove north I thought, This can’t be too hard, I’ll have help for 24 hours. 

My first clue that I was delusional was a phone call to the babysitter who had kept them overnight. She told me the youngest, 22 months, was throwing up all night and had diarrhea. Lovely, I thought. After we arrived, we were immediately immersed in shuttling the boys to their basketball games, and staying to watch, feeding them popcorn and nachos and other nutritional delights, and changing lots of bad diapers. The diaper-changing was my job, of course. We also became hyper-vigilant about hand washing—ours!

Even though the temperature hovered around 32 degrees all weekend, my husband rallied the older boys for a service project on Sunday around noon—cleaning out their mom’s car, which was a disaster, having not been cleaned thoroughly in years. We understood. Ours used to look the same way. What mom of that many little kids can keep a car clean? Why not get the real culprits to restore some of what they had destroyed?

My husband left for home shortly after they finished the car. I was alone with five little boys. I can do this, I told myself. I fixed dinner, fed them all, which isn’t easy with their very particular tastes and various “dislikes,” got them all bathed and ready for bed on time. Then I crashed, remembering how I went to bed every night at 9:00 the last time I babysat.

Monday morning before the light of day the little ones were up and ready to play, the two school-age boys had to be coaxed out of bed at 7:00, and the baby still had diarrhea. Before they left for school, I got the oldest to turn the TV on for me. These recording devices and remotes are beyond my capability. Only the 9-year-old could get me in touch with the outside world and a live TV channel.

But bad news awaited me as I wandered past the TV. A major winter storm was on the way. I left the TV on all day, afraid if I touched the remote I’d never get a channel back! Packing up the three little guys, I made a run to the grocery store to get supplies just in case, including the ingredients for chocolate chip cookies. We needed some fun in our day.

The rain began in late afternoon and had changed to ice by dinner time. The more I watched the weather, the more fearful I became, imagining my plight with five busy boys and no electricity. I feared the worst. I only found enough live batteries for one flashlight, which I put by my bed. I cranked up the heat to seventy-four degrees so the house would stay warmer longer. I sent the older two boys out in the freezing rain to haul the split wood into the back porch so it would be ready for the fireplace if we needed it. My daughter Ashley, who was in sunny Florida, told me where all the extra blankets were. Now I was ready for the worst.

By 10:00 p.m., the trees coated with ice and the rain continuing, I was beginning to panic. At 11:00 the power went off. I lay in bed for a few minutes then got up with my tiny flashlight and went upstairs to bury the boys in blankets, hoping they wouldn’t wake up cold too much before dawn. Then I went back to bed and worried some more. And I confess, though I prayed, I was not trusting God at all.

For some reason, God had mercy on me and the power was restored some time before dawn. I did not deserve it. I did not earn it. But I was immensely grateful. No school or mother’s day out that day, but I did not care. To have power was, at that moment, a gift beyond compare.

I wrote my 83-year-old mother that afternoon and thanked her profusely for the times she kept my kids. I did not appreciate the time and energy it cost her, and to my shame I was mildly critical in my thinking when she could not keep them more often. Now I understand.

I survived the “adventure” and was completely relieved when I arrived home safely. That night I slept soundly for nearly 12 hours! My admiration for both my daughter and my mother grew, and my gratitude for God’s mercy had a new depth of understanding.

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