I’ve had this post on my heart since well before Valentine’s Day, but with the way things have been flying at warp speed around here of late, I am just not putting my thoughts to paper (screen). It is so easy to get bogged down by the everyday activities that slowly make us feel like hamsters on a wheel, but thank God for those moments of clarity when you can take a step back and recognize that even in the midst of the mundane, life is truly, completely beautiful. My children are healthy, happy and active; I am married to a man that I love more with each passing day, and whom I admire and respect immensely for his dedication to God, our family, his work.
My days are repetitive, sure. Dishes never stop needing to be done; Mt. Laundry never ceases to add daily to its elevation. Diapers don’t change themselves; toddlers don’t stop needing help using the potty; sippy cups don’t have honing devices (what an invention that would be!). But, oh the rewards of being here each and every day with my little ones, of watching them grow and change, often flying through little stages and phases with such speed it nearly takes my breath away. My children are growing up not only as siblings, but as best friends, playing games of make-believe that magically turn a boring king-sized bed into a pirate ship and the backyard of a small house on a quiet little street into a prehistoric dinosaur valley. I am regaled almost daily by the sweet sound of their precious voices singing made-up songs from the stage that is our family room hearth. I get to smell that delicious little spot at the nape of each of their necks as I read (and re-read) their favorite stories, trying hard to memorize this before they grow too big and too busy for my snuggles.
I never imagined as a mother how daily I would confront a desire to be overcome with tears, sometimes of joy, sometimes of heartache, sometimes of a combination of the two. It is a beautiful thing to watch a little boy learn to read, but I am sure every mother can relate when I say that as those amazing milestones serve as sources of great pride, they also remind us of stages that have passed before our very eyes, of the precious times that will henceforth only persist in thought and memory. I want to remember it all, want to soak it all up before the little idiosyncrasies and comments and stories I have vowed never to forget have been tucked away in my mind, fading ever so slightly with each passing day, week, year. See? Joy, always tempered with a pang of wistful nostalgia. These days aren’t going to last forever. Each and every day truly matters, even those when we all stay in our pajamas and play Hungry, Hungry Hippos between reading books and watching movies.
Perhaps those are the days that matter most of all.