Today I slept in…until 6:20. Yesterday the world was white and beautiful and my whole self felt wonderfully tired by the end of it. So, both Nathan and I slept past the snooze alarms and I pushed out of bed later than my norm. First to the coffee pot, next to light the candles, and then to sit and watch the morning light slowly kiss the snow-covered pines. I woke our oldest up for his early choir class and sat in the short, quiet minutes with DAD and His Word – a “read through the Bible in a year” while praying over your children. This gift* from my secret sister last year has been a lifeline.
Then, doors began to open as sleepy heads got out of their beds. The morning sounds of bowls and spoons, toaster, pans, cracking eggs, cereal being poured, and Curious George in the background broke through the silence. Normally we would have been out the door today, but the weather kept us home together – an unexpected blessing. The kids finished some math and reading; I finished some cleaning and laundry. Then, off to the store for Minestrone ingredients. My oldest drove us there; the next in line drove us home. The days are different than when last I started to write.
In those days I would pack all three boys – three, two, and one – in their carseats and we would “adventure” to the grocery store with mom as the sole provider of all things. Every moment was a teachable moment, for myself too. Then, we added a girl…and another, and each outing became a field trip without the extra chaperones. Them learning to wait their turns and use their manners and me…learning the same.
I knew then that these days would come…
When little boys playing with trains and legos who needed me for everything would grow into young men that tower over their mother and need me for less of the things I can tangibly give and more for the things I can only offer them from a place of prayer and release. I knew I would long for more times when they’d interrupt my “quiet time.” I begged God to change my selfishness quicker so I wouldn’t miss out on the fleeting years of boy cuddles.
There have been more “seasons” than I expected. Some are covered in darkness so thick I almost can’t breathe. Some are so beautiful that my breath catches somewhere deep within a pool of joy. And there are plenty of days and nights in between that look like another mundane brush stroke…those are the ones I love the most. They don’t seem dramatic or noteworthy, but everyone of them strengthens my roots, grows me into someone more real,** and gives me a never-ending spring of gratitude.
This afternoon, I started the soup, started the bread (that I put too little water in…we’ll see what happens), wiped the counter again, made the bed, pulled on a cardigan, hugged and got silly with my girls and told my boys how much I appreciated all they did. Soon, I’ll welcome home Nathan and take the dog for a walk while he gives a guitar lesson. We’ll end our day in fellowship with friends, and then fall into bed all over again. I’ll still have a moment when the dirty dishes will cause me to cringe before we get them all put in the dishwasher and when I will say, a little louder than I’d like, that everyone needs to clean up their stuff. But, as the light closes the day, I know I will do what I do every night…
I will stand in my kitchen, look over our cozy space, and just be thankful and content.
…And I did, briefly, before my too tired eyes and head made it to my pillow.
P.S. The family liked the soup, which was a gamble with all its vegetables. (Christopher somehow evaded the vegetables entirely when dipping his out – love that boy!)
P.S.S. The bread still received good reviews. Kerrygold butter is a wonder as well.
** ref to The Velveteen Rabbit