grace for leaving

I'm 5 days out from my big trip and one of the twins started barfing this morning at 3am. For some reason, her throwing up reminds me I have yet to purchase a voltage adapter for my laptop and that gets me wondering about whether or not I should get a travel hair dryer. What do barfing and electrical appliances have in common? I have no idea. This is my mind right now--lurching between vomiting toddlers and future crises, trying to mop up every last contingency with the last barren shreds of my overworked to-do lists.

I have five children to schedule, manage and prep before I leave. I have meals to pre-cook, lists to write, laundry to wash and fold.

The last thing I need right now is a barfing toddler!

I really broke down and had myself a good cry yesterday. It's just all too much.

"I can't do this trip," I said to my husband. "I just can't."

He said nothing. He just nodded.


Now I'm the one sounding like a toddler.

Five minutes ago she fell asleep on the couch next to me. I suddenly just realized that I'm living too far into the future. I'm living five days from now when really, I should just

I don't have grace yet for the plane flight to Bolivia because, well, I'm not on the plane yet. I don't have grace yet for leaving because, well, I haven't left yet.

I do know that I have grace right here, right now in this moment with a feverish, fussy toddler breathing her precious little puke breath onto me. Twenty minutes ago I was worrying about how I would make lunch for the other kiddos, but then my oldest offered to do it.

See? Grace.

I don't have grace yet for 4pm when I have to shuttle kids around to dance practice and start prepping dinner. But I'm going to stop worrying about it because at 4pm, I know grace will show up---maybe not in the way I expected, but still. Grace.

I don't have grace yet for the kids' bedtime because, well, it's not bedtime yet. Yes, I'll be run ragged and every little extra request will feel like a momentous, herculean effort. But I'm also not accounting for grace in those moments. Grace will be there. I don't have it yet because I don't need grace for bedtime yet.

I just need grace for this moment right now.

And since I have it, maybe I'll go fix myself a tuna sandwich on toasted sourdough bread. I know I'll taste grace in that first crunchy bite.