In retrospect my morning takes on the foggy glow of perfection. But, in all honesty I can't remember. Did i wake up overwhelmed with a messy house? Did I sigh as i began, yet again, the ever present, menial tasks of my life? Was the loud music a result of my happy soul or was i trying to pull myself up with it's transforming power? Whatever the beginning of my morning... i will always remember a distinct moment in the middle.
My baby is busy. She had kitchen tools in both hands and pen down her legs. Her hair was messy and she needed her diaper changed. Lily was content at the kitchen counter in a mound of play-doh and cookie cutters. As i rushed to grab diapers and wipes, i laid the baby down on the floor and just looked at her. I felt a rush of joy to be here, at this moment. The song from Little Mermaid, "Part of Your World" was filling my home and I was singing it to my young girls with the same gusto I sang it in my middle school glory years ago.
The words sank DEEP into my soul and i felt my angel grandmothers whispering to me-- "What would I give to be where you are?" Arial sang- I've got gadgets and gizmos aplenty, I've got whozits and whatzits galore... But who cares? No big deal. I want more. I want to be where the people are. I want to SEE, want to SEE them dancing... Up where they walk, up where they run, up where they stay all day in the sun. Wandering free, wish i could be part of YOUR world... And I felt it. I knew that my angel grandmothers were with me and i knew they would give ANYTHING to change one more diaper or wash one more dish. I heard them shouting to me- SEE them. SEE THEM DANCING. Enjoy YOUR world.
My eyes filled with tears and my heart filled with gratitude and a smile- for mermaids and angels. I LOVE THIS LIFE I LIVE. I love moments home with my children. I love the hum drum tasks of life. I am grateful to be right here, at this stage of life. It is REAL, it is hard, it is exhausting and it is BEAUTIFUL. My life is full of goodness and joy and beauty.
These days at home with my children are the BEST days I will ever live. How I will miss them. I will miss the laundry and dishes. I will miss the crazy bath times. I will miss the polly pockets everywhere. I will miss their cute comments and the feel of their hands in mine. I will miss them some day, BUT I AM NOT MISSING THEM TODAY. My soul RINGS with love for these days. THESE ARE THE DAYS! These are MY days. I would not trade them for the world.
i am HERE. I am seeing them. I am IN my moments with GRATITUDE and JOY. I am singing and dancing my way through dishes. I am holding them extra tight when they let me. I am really seeing their chubby cheeks and dimpled fingers-- because this time is short and precious. As i BEHOLD my children I can almost see them grow. I can feel them becoming. It is a slow, beautiful process. They are growing away from me, and that is as it should be. Oh how blessed I am for these years where they are close.
My oldest son starts high school next year. He is stepping away from me, but he is still HERE. I LOVE HIM. I am blessed to mother him. My soul feels joy as he grows into all I see him to be... and I miss him already. As we were driving back from yet another soccer practice, he was quiet beside me. I said, "You know Jakob, someday you will live far from me and i won't be able to see your life. You'd better learn now to tell me your details, because I already miss you." He smiled and told me about his day. It was adorable. I mostly heard about what teacher had a bowl of candy on her desk and where he usually sat in each class. I loved it. I will miss these snippets in the car with my kids when their hair is sweaty and their feet are covered with grass and mud. I LOVE these times.
I had a friend with three children that would talk to me about having a fourth. It makes me laugh when people ask my opinion on having more children. My friend wanted another baby, but her husband was hesitant. I just saw the most DARLING family picture ever, she is holding her precious fourth child, a beautiful little girl. Looking at that picture I can SEE the joy she would have missed out on if she had stopped. UNSPEAKABLE JOY!
At my cousin's wedding she told me she was planning on having two children. She explained that children are so expensive and said, "Two's good right?" How am I supposed to respond to that question? She knows I have seven! I smiled and answered honestly, "Yes. Children are expensive. Two children seems ideal. I had two boys first, and I LOVED my sweet family." And then my mind keeps going, along with my mouth. "But, I can't imagine life without Anna. I can't imagine never having a daughter. How I adore my third!" And, my mouth just keeps going... "For that matter, I can't imagine life without any of my children." I was holding my darling seventh at the time. Squeezing her tightly I said, "If I didn't have seven, I wouldn't have HER. I'm not a good person to ask."
I can NOT imagine life without seven. I can NOT imagine ever sacrificing the JOY and GOODNESS my children bring to me, and this world, in exchange for an easier life with more financial wealth, finer clothes, fancier furniture or more exotic vacations. I don't need a vacation-- i LIVE in paradise. Yes, there are sacrifices but they are merely investments. I am living the dream and I CAN SEE IT!
Life is GOOD!
(and yes, i know i have already published these pictures once. but- i LOVE them.)