I didn’t do the dishes. You can tell, because the sink is full of dirty plates.
I didn’t make any muffins to feed little hungry bellies. I know this, because the muffin pan sits empty in that pile of dishes and my kids are still asking me for food.
I didn’t do any laundry. Just look at the baskets still sitting beside the washer.
Noses haven’t been wiped. They are just as runny as they were this morning, but now with dirt and Cheerios caked on top.
We must not have gone outside to run around in the backyard, or had friends over for a play date. Judging by the way they are simultaneously claiming boredom and running around with energy to spare, we have not done anything today.
I didn’t read stories, log miles in the rocking chair, or tuck toes under blankets. They are awake now, as you can see.
I didn’t make it to the grocery store. I know this, because each member of my family keeps informing me we have nothing good to eat.
I haven’t wiped away any tears. They keep falling every time one brother hits the other, or a knee lands on a sharp rock.
I didn’t explain why the sky is blue, why dinosaurs died, or why it rains some days and not others. At least not to a preschooler’s satisfaction.
I must have forgotten to pack snacks for our trip to the park. Why else would the bag be empty now and everyone crying?
I haven’t bought any clothes for the kids either. This is why nothing they own fits.
I didn’t get any work done today. My draft folder is still full, to-do list long and my inbox teeming with emails unanswered.
Of course I didn’t manage any yard work today. The only flowers I haven’t killed are the dandelions proliferating on the front lawn.
I haven’t swept, or vacuumed, or mopped. That crunching sound under your feet is evidence.
I haven’t written any articles or stories that resonated with people today. They are all still scrolling, looking for something good to read. And I haven’t made any money, either. That’s why my bank account hovers stubbornly at the same number.
I must not have cooked dinner. Why else would the table is full of empty plates and little boys are begging me for something – anything else – to eat? Preferably cookies.
That dirty dish pile, however, somehow expanded.
I’m not sure what I did manage today. I know I did each of these things, but none of them are done. I am living in a fairy tale – one where the clock strikes midnight and anything I have built over the course of the day crumbles back to how it was before.
This is a mother’s day. The work we do is dismantled each sunrise, taunting us with another chance to beat the clock. A day, a week, a year from now – my list of accomplishments won’t be any longer.
And yet, at the end of the day, my children sit on my knee and holler, “Again! Again! Again!”
Nothing I do is permanent. Nothing I build will last.
It is, perhaps, only the attempt that matters.