By the time my husband's alarm sounded this morning, I was in shock - there was no way that sleepless night was over already. Surely it was only 2am and his poor clock was just confused.
Unfortunately that was not the case. And my poor brain has been suffering the consequences of its own inability to rest. As evidenced by the fact of my sitting up in bed (entirely too early), rubbing my hand over my swollen belly and thinking, "I sure am getting fat." It was maybe a full two seconds before I remembered there was life growing in that belly, not just a stash of chocolate chip cookies.
Thus, after pouring milk on the cereal of a daughter who loathes milk on her cereal (though loves it in her cup) and dealing with the apocalyptic outcome of that brain-fogged action, as I listened to the chorus of my two eldest arguing over who would be allowed to open the fridge so the boy could put his un-finished cup of milk inside, I sighed. Trying once, unsuccessfully, to supersede the volume of his irrational sobs, to offer some sort of resolution (or, perhaps, a solid, "Stop crying and put your milk in the fridge! Sissy already has it open for you!"), I simply shook my head and walked away.
This was way below my pay-grade.
I recognized this issue was, in fact, one that could be settled by young children, and the value of my sanity was much higher than the fairness of whatever outcome they could manage.
And I left. I entered my room, closed the door, and started to get dressed, feeling slightly guilty over my inability and unwillingness to fix it.
It was only after the door had been opened again, as I straightened my sweater over that bulging belly, that Emmett came dashing into the room, sister close behind.
"Momma! I opened the fridge and 'Caiah held my cup and then she gave me my cup - "
"And then I threw the door closed!" she finished, triumphantly.
Though the slamming of the door isn't exciting to me, the fact that they successfully navigated the field of conflict resolution with a solution that left them both happy and proud of their independence re-assured me of my decision to walk away. Had I not, I would have missed this blessed moment - the one when Momma realizes it's not just her fatigue talking, but her children really can solve their own problems (some of the time, anyway).
And sometimes it takes us just walking away to realize how independent our children can really be.