Oh, boys. As I put you to bed this evening—after I tucked you in and left the room—I knew you wouldn’t fall right asleep. You rarely ever do. So I wonder: as you lie there, are you thinking back on the day? And if so, are you remembering it as a good day or a bad one? Because as I leave your room and head into the kitchen to pack lunches and get ready for tomorrow, I’m remembering it as a rough day and already feeling guilty. 

I’m remembering a day that started with me griping at you as I tried to rush you out the door for school. I’m remembering picking you up from school in the carpool line and almost instantly griping again. I’m remembering that I snapped at you when you tried to tell me something while I was in the middle of reading a text message. As I was helping you try your Halloween costume on and you were squirming and bouncing and twisting and jumping, I said (snarled), “Why are you making everything so complicated today?”

I fear that all day I came across as a frazzled, angry mother completely and utterly undelighted by the three of you. 

But here’s what you didn’t see that I wish you had.

If you had, maybe it would change your view, even just a little, of what kind of day it was. At least you’d have some firm reassurance you are loved and liked and cherished, no matter how it may have seemed all day. 

What you didn’t see is right after I griped at you this morning, right after my harried self dropped you off in the carpool line, I sat there for a few seconds (breaking all sorts of carpool-line rules and annoying probably 10 people in the process) and watched your little selves walk in. When one of you turned around to give me one last wave, my eyes instantly filled with tears because I love you SO MUCH. I hope you know that as you walk inside to start your day, I wish I could have shown you that more before you got out of the car.

What you didn’t see is even though you agreed to just be Captain America for Halloween because we never could seem to find the exact right Power Ranger costume you had your heart set on, I spent a massive portion of my day driving around looking for it. I had a million other things to do. It’s just that although I told you, “It’s not the end of the world if you have to be your second choice costume for Halloween,” maybe it feels like the end of the world for you. And believe it or not . . . your feelings matter to me a lot. 

What you didn’t see is that as I changed the sheets on all three of your beds earlier, I prayed over each of you. One at a time. Every single little thing I could think to pray, as I swapped out sheets, threw on comforters, and slid on pillowcases. 

You didn’t see me as I sat in the carpool line to pick you up this afternoon, so excited to greet you, smiling goofily as you came walking out. Man, you are all so handsome! Now, you started arguing with one another the very second you got in, so things went downhill (as you know) but if you’d seen how much I was beaming with pride as I watched you walk out, you would have known how loved you are. 

And I’m sorry I snapped at you when you tried to tell me something while I was reading that text message earlier. What you didn’t see, though, is that it was a difficult text to read. While you are blissfully unaware most of the time about adult problems (thankfully), sometimes adults DO have problems. It can be hard to shut that right off and cheerfully tune in to your story about winning your Fortnite match. I know that’s important to you though, and I’m sorry for not showing you that YOU are important to ME.

Anyway. I’m done making lunches now, and I just sat down to zone out for a bit and scroll through Facebook. I came across an article about how quickly kids grow up, and how I’m going to miss these days . . . and it made me bawl. So what you also didn’t see, because you actually ARE asleep now, is my weepy self coming into your room, kissing each of you on the forehead, saying one more quick prayer over you, hoping all the while that somehow, even though you didn’t see all of this today, maybe somehow you still know. 

Hayley Hengst

Hello there! My name is Hayley Hengst. Mom to three Sweet Boy Hooligans, ages 4, 6, and 10. Regular contributor for Austin Moms, as well as my own personal blog, MotherFreaking.  Other than my boys, the things that make me happiest in life are books, coffee, warm fires, and twinkle lights. Also, queso.  You can follow me on Facebook, Hayley Hengst, or @motherfreaking.  I'm on IG as @motherfreakingmama.