April Jeppson: Sit down July — I don’t want any lip from you
Every Little Thing by April Jeppson
We’ve made it! We’re finally in July. I do believe that means we’re on Level 7 of Jumanji or something. I like the Jumanji reference for multiple reasons. Mostly it keeps it light. I think about Kevin Hart’s character having cake as his weakness, and I think, yes, me too, Kevin, me too. The most recent installment of movies were exciting and fun and that helps soften the blow of what we’ve been going through during the first half the year.
I read something the other day, that said “Dear July, I don’t want any trouble from you. Just come in, sit down, don’t touch anything and keep your mouth shut.” I felt this in my tired, mother of three soul. Just sit down and keep your mouth shut. I’m pretty sure I’ve said those words more than once.
I liken this whole experience to being a mom. In January and February we saw other countries going through things and we watched safely from a distance. We were aware but not terribly concerned — much like I was when I didn’t have children of my own. I would wonder why moms would do and say the things they did. I didn’t have kids, I didn’t get it.
Then during the next three months I started to get it. As the virus came into the United States and then into our towns, I began to understand. Much like a new mother, I was anxious and nervous. I was worried that any little thing I did or didn’t do could cause an outbreak. Almost frozen with fear at times. What if I touched my face and forgot to wash my hands? What if the mailman had it and touched my mail and then infected my entire house?
There was one time I sprayed down everything in my house. It needed to stay on the surface for 10 minutes to be most effective. My house was such an insane cloud of chemical smog that it forced us into one of our first family walks of the quarantine. (The silver lining in all of this). I’m pretty sure on the label it said kills tuberculosis, coronavirus and humans when exposed for 10 minutes.
Just like a mother of multiples, I’ve become more seasoned, less panicky. I have my masks and sanitizer. I know that ultimately I can only do my best and at the end of the day, that still might not be good enough. Just like children, you can watch them and monitor them and keep an eye on them like a hawk, and they can still get away from you and hide in the clothing rack at the mall. You can be the best parent on the planet and your child will still skin their knee on the playground. Even with this knowledge though, we still need to try.
Also, remember when your kids were little and they just wouldn’t go to bed? “Mommy, my tummy hurts. I’m hungry. I’m scared. I heard something. Sister won’t stop talking. I think I saw something.” As a new mom, I think I let my kid play this game for an hour. It stressed me out, it exhausted me and honestly I was being manipulated by a sweet little child who simply didn’t want to end their day.
Well guess what July? This isn’t my first rodeo. I’ve read the articles, I’ve done the research. I’m more seasoned, and I’m a heck of a lot more prepared. I know which news outlets are trying to throw me into a tizzy (most of them), and I’m more confident in my abilities to protect myself and my family.
Murder hornets? Bring ’em. Swine flu 2.0? July, is that the best you got? I’m no longer afraid to discipline other people’s unruly kids, and you best believe I’ll do the same to July. I’ve got exactly zero patience for nonsense and manipulation. Here’s what we’re eating for dinner July. Oh, you want me to cut the crust off your bread? No. Eat it or leave it.
I’m a tired mother of three, and you can just sit down and be quiet. But if you could keep that sunshine coming, that’d be great.
Albert Lean April Jeppson is a wife, mom, coach and encourager of dreams.
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