I had a rough mommy day yesterday. My three and a half year old, Lulu, is in what we shall call a high-maintenance stage of her life (well, more high-maintenance than usual, which is saying a lot), and Louise, my two year old has just run smack into the infamous Terrible Twos. Yesterday was our weekly Bible study meeting, and as it happened, this was my group’s week to help in the children’s department. To be honest, volunteerism was not high on my list of Things I Really Want to Do yesterday, especially when said volunteerism involved working with children who greatly resemble both literally and figuratively my own. However, after I dropped Louise off in the nursery (and left her in tears) and Lulu in her Purple Lambs class, I headed off down the hallway to take my orders from the children’s department director. Because she is so accommodating, she suggested that I just “help” in Lulu’s class. Swell. I’m nothing if not determined to make the best of a bad situation, so off I headed to help with the Purple Lambs. As usual, the Purple Lambs were already busy cutting out all manner of “cookies” from their play dough. I took my seat next to Lulu and began conversing with her teacher and the other volunteer. Because I was in desperate need of adult conversation, I really was not paying much attention to the children at all–just the normal mommy-grunts to my own child as she showed me all of her dough creations. However, as I was talking, something caught my eye. It was a turtle shaped cookie cutter! A TURTLE SHAPED COOKIE CUTTER! To appreciate this, you must know, as Paul Harvey would say, the rest of the story.
Today is Louise’s second birthday, and we will be celebrating on Saturday. Because I set the bar ridiculously high for myself at Lulu’s first birthday party by baking and decorating her cake myself (while three months pregnant and sick as a dog, to boot), I feel obligated to carry on the tradition, especially for Louise’s parties. She’s the second child, and as we all know, second children usually get the short end of the stick. Louise is nothing if not imaginative, though. If you ask Louise what kind of cake she wants this year, she will promptly reply, “Turdle.” What can this mama do but bake a “turdle” cake? And because I am a culinary overachiever, I also feel obligated to keep up the tradition of making iced sugar cookies as party favors. Much of my mommy stress this week has been as a result, I am sure, of thinking about this party coming up on Saturday, especially all of the baking and decorating I’ll be doing. I had mused to myself that it would be neat to have turtle shaped cookies for Louise’s favors, but I quickly dismissed the idea as impossible since I was sure that a turtle cookie cutter would be impossible to find in our small town. As you can imagine, I exclaimed aloud when I saw the cookie cutter on the table. Of course, the teacher of the Purple Lambs insisted that I take it home with me and use it, and of course, I did just that. Bring it home, that is. I haven’t used it yet.
When thinking about this little instance in my life, I thought about how what seems like a coincidence really isn’t. I knew that folks far more eloquent than I have already said something like this, so I went searching for a related quote to share. The first one I found goes like this: “Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous.” This was an unsigned quote on a church sign somewhere, and while I like it, I really don’t want God to remain anonymous here, so I’m outing Him.
Thanks, God, for bringing this mommy a turtle cookie cutter to remind her that you really do care about me, about us, and about the trivial little details of our lives.