(Author’s note: I wrote this several years ago on New Years Eve, but thought it was appropriate to post today, on Mother’s Day. Thanks be to God for the indescribable gift of allowing me to be a mom! It is, by far, the hardest and best role I’ve ever had. Oh, and the 10 year old is a teenager now and takes FOREVER in the shower. How quickly things change!)
Our 12 year old daughter comes bounding down the stairs in her Disney Princess baseball T-shirt and converse shoes, ponytail swinging behind her, smile full of metal, as she heads towards the piano to play, yet again, that crazy fast run in “Let it Go” that she has worked so hard on for the past few weeks. And she nails it; only this time she keeps playing the rest of the song, and I can feel her radiating with confidence and pride at the accomplishment and satisfaction that results from really hard work.
Our 10 year old daughter interrupts our dinner conversation to tell another random story about something that happened in a 90’s sitcom episode which has nothing to do with anything. After dinner, she chases her brothers around with a marshmallow blaster gun and their new bow and arrow set until we force her to take a shower (and have to remind her again to use soap. Seriously??). From her room, I can hear her singing about “Taylor, the Latte Boy” at the top of her precious 10 year old lungs.
Then there’s the 6 year old. He’s trying so hard to be a big boy, to not cry when he gets hurt and not transform into the Incredible Hulk every time something makes him so mad that he feels like he’s going to explode, which is every other minute. He thinks so hard about every decision because he just doesn’t want to make the wrong choice. He is still a little bit timid and nervous in new situations, but he is slowly coming into his own. I see him stand a little taller when he says something he knows is going to be funny, and that little grin peeks out the corners of his mouth when everyone laughs at just the right time. In no time, he has convinced his little brother to strip down to his underwear and run around the house with him, as they try desperately to escape from the marshmallow-shooting monster in the minion shirt and ponytail.
And my sweet baby. Four years old, almost five; chubby cheeks, dimpled like his daddy’s, and a smile that melts the heart of everyone within a 10 mile radius. These big words and phrases pop out of his little preschool mouth with uncanny timing, cracking us all up and causing us to temporarily forget the 2,397 messes he has left randomly around the house. He sneaks another piece of candy off the week-old gingerbread village and scampers away in his bare feet and ninja turtle underwear, his round tummy poking out from behind the couch. A scream of laughter escapes from his lips as an arrow bounces off his bottom. The big-sister-minion-monster is suddenly tickling him, much to his dismay and delight. But have no fear; big brother quickly comes to his rescue, and they are off again into the hunt!
Prayers whispered, covers pulled up to their chins, messes remaining all over the house, nightlights glowing softly, and stuffed animals tucked in all cozy-like, too.
Eyes closed, a soft kiss brushing their foreheads, a last look, and the realization that this is the last time I will tuck them in this year. Another whole year has passed.
My, how time flies!
It has been a regular year with ups and downs; exciting, frustrating, endearing, exhausting… blessed. I was given another whole year with these precious little ones (and some not so little anymore. Sigh.). And 12 months later, we are all still here. Another day, another breath, another chance to love and laugh and learn.
Oh, how grateful I am, Lord!
Thank you for the gift of this moment– the opportunity to reflect on all the other little ordinary, everyday moments that have made up this year, to unwrap them and turn them slowly in my mind, treasuring them in my heart like Mary did all those years ago.