Mud Soup

It had been one of those days.

My two-year-old, Lyla, had spent most of it whining and yelling at me; and I’m not sure who gave it to whom, but she and I were both coughing and sniffling. Piles of wadded up tissues were everywhere.

It was hard to remain on the effective side of parenting, and I admit, most of the day I failed. I employed such strategies as reasoning with my two-year-old, bargaining with my five-year-old, and lecturing my twelve-year-old.

Ugh.

It was 5:30 pm when the kids started playing The Hungry Games. I looked at the kitchen. Then, the couch.Then, I looked at the kitchen again.

I chose the couch.

I then resorted to the even more effective plan of waving my non-magical fingers in the air and asking the kitchen to make dinner.

Lyla decided to roll her eyes at my pathetic take on reality and took her resourceful toddler self outside to make soup… of the organic variety.

That was the low point of my day. I knew I could find renewal in the scriptures, so with one eye on the backyard soup kitchen, I opened up to where I last read in the Book of Mormon, and no kidding, THIS was where I had left off the night before-

For can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the [child] of her womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee… 

I laughed to myself. Really?

My attention turned to the apparently forgotten child in the backyard. She was stirring dandelions around in the mud with a big stick.

I smiled.

I had gone to the scriptures seeking comfort and strength, and instead I found humor. Which was exactly what I needed.

A refreshing ten minutes later, I was standing in the kitchen preparing dinner.

The backdoor opened and in walked Lyla. Muddy boots, muddy hands, and a face smudged with dirt. Instead of the exasperated look I may have given her earlier, I smiled, grabbed a wet wipe, and began tenderly wiping away the dirt.

It’s good to smile.

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Michele and her husband, Wes, live in Washington state, where their five children enjoy making all varieties of mud soup. She has given up on keeping the kitchen floor clean, but enjoys maintaining her corner of the internet at Five in the Foothills.