no more cruddy days

all four of them were sitting around me, cozied onto my bed in their jammies, plaid & stripey, clouds & jedi, with only a small lamp light among us.  the toddler was bathed & fed, the five-year-old scrubbed off, too.  they’d all had their bedtime snack, carrots & cashews, were ready to crawl in & call it.  lately i’m in to gathering the kids in my room before bed, before i collect hugs & kisses & send them on to their own beds to snuggle under quilts.  i like this small space between doing & dreaming, a chance to pull them in close & check on their hearts, to slow us all down (quit wrestling with your brother, for the love.) & tighten up our togetherness a little.  & to pray for them, too.

tonight as i prayed, i thanked God for the joy my kids have, turning a cruddy day into something amazing.  to me, forty degrees & rainy in april is just depressing.  it’s been a bearish winter, i’m cold, i’m still wearing long johns under my jeans,  & i obsessively check weather.com for a little hope in the prospects.

i, however, am alone in my sentiments.  at least, in this house.


earlier in the evening, while we ate our chicken dinner, the kids looked out the window at the great puddle growing in the driveway & javin suddenly decided, “we should make paper boats!”  after the dishes were cleared & the chores done, andy sat around the table with all four & a stack of colored cardstock to teach them how to fashion seaworthy vessels.


the kids spent the rest of the evening in rainboots & a puddle with sticks, pushing homemade watercraft.  they were so happy.  they made plans & re-taped their boats when the water began to win.  they were out there so long, in that chill, that i had to promise leif a bath just to get him out of the puddle & back inside;  i could see his little self shivering from where i stood in the doorway.

so, after the vessels were sailed & sunk, & the sticks discarded, after brushing tiny teeth & gathering them to me on my big, grown-up bed, i started to pray for them, grateful for who they are & how they see the world.  it is a wonder, to see a world inside a puddle.

when i got to the thankful part about their turning a cruddy day into something awesome, kieran interrupted me, looking up to meet my eye, incredulous, “this wasn’t a cruddy day!”

you’re right, little one.

it most certainly was not.

4 thoughts on “no more cruddy days

  1. it certainly wasn’t a cruddy day. I love the brightly colored boats and I hope that upon our next visit one of the Britz family can teach us how to fashion sea worthy paper boats so we too may sail the seas of puddles that form near our home! I love seeing each one (young Britz) and how they all have a different spark of ingenuity or discovery in their eye or the smirk of a cheek! our children are so great at teaching us how to truly live! thanks, each and every Britz, for this lovely, not cruddy post! Mama Britz….I am always excited to read your beautiful writing! Someday, I hope for a book from this same author!!

    1. i love how you see my kids, more clearly than i do because you’re outside the tangle. thank you for your fresh breath into my mothering!! & yes, let’s make paper boats next go ’round. books, maybe; boats, for sure.

  2. Jill, I am a brother to John Buckner – my name is Robert or Bob as is most used along with a number of other enduring and endearing names.
    I enjoyed No More Cruddy Days and loved the photos with it. I am just finishing a book called Sail On, LIttle Whee that starts our with a puddle and a toy boat. Your post was an affirmation or me and the start of my book.
    Thanks, Bob

    1. thanks, robert! so good to meet another buckner! & congratulations on your book. it sounds like a lot of fun. i’m glad i could help a little bit! good luck!!

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