Tuesday, June 23, 2015
One of those clear memories that I can call up at anytime is when I was lying with Kate at her naptime. She reached her fat little hand over to my cheek and said, "Yer perfeck." It is a phrase I use often, along with "I love you." and "You're my favorite." I tell my children they are perfect. It's both hyperbole and the truth. They are not perfectly behaved, but they are perfectly suited for our family. These are the things I do not need to say because all I want is for my kids to hear how loved and valued they are regardless of the parent-child power struggle of the moment.
Today was a day where most things out of my control were yucky, but it was a great day. It was great because our kids were helpful. It was great because I managed to be patient. It was great because we all found ways to encourage one another. I awoke feeling the anxiety that only productivity can abate. I longed to rush about doing laundry, fixing myself up, and getting Mae ready. I knew it was the only way I would be able to take my coffee to a quiet corner and be still with the Lord. Of course, it wasn't God's plan for my morning, and lo, Scott felt yucky and Mae's rash looked scary, and Becket needed to cluster feed.
By the grace of God I was able to meet needs and even express my anxiety calmly to Scott. Being heard was enough to get me through the early part of the morning. Molly awoke to the bad news that her sleeping in had led to the great responsibility of emptying the dishwasher. Normally, Molly would feed the dog and Charlotte would empty the dishwasher, but the dog was hungry and C was awake. Molly felt crumby and weepy, and I folded on the dishwasher chore, but when I went into the kitchen it was emptied by Molly, who explained she felt compelled to "do the right thing to help our family."
Our doctor appointment was midday, and I found Charlotte to be eager to help at every turn. Whether she was chasing Mae or holding Becket, she was ready to serve without being asked. She was alert and engaged and never interrupted with selfish questions. We discovered Mae has a viral infection and a staph infection, so I had a lot of questions and concerns which were addressed with no interruptions thanks to Charlotte. On the way home she did not ask to get lunch at the drive through though she was hungry. What a gem!
Kate also awoke feeling crumby. That coupled with the adolescence that has poked its head into our lives, I did not know what the day would bring from her. What it brought was a request to do laundry so she could "relax". It brought the desire to make her own dinner. It brought a desire to care for Becket when he was squirmy from being full, but wanting to nurse for comfort. Never mind the hail outside, life was great indoors.
Today when I was asked if we planned more children, I found myself thinking, "Have you met these wonderful people?!" I'm 3 weeks from delivery and each of these beautiful kids have made life better in every imaginable way. Life can be hard, but my young children remind me daily that we can make it better for one another. Life can be overwhelming, but my young children show that we can bear the burdens of one another. Life can be exhausting, but my young children can be an example of how to persevere. I will never take credit for these beautiful souls, but I am grateful to be a witness. They are, indeed, perfect*.
*Paul is visiting family, and Mae napped well, thus contributing to this perfection, God love them.