I’m tired tonight, and it’s far too late to be up. It was a long day, like so many of them are. Two littles in diapers (although we’re working on getting that down to one), naps that didn’t line up, and piles of laundry from all the drool and spit up and food and dirt stains. Tears from ouchies (“kiss it, Mommy”) and from hunger or sleepiness or the illogical emotions of being two. Trying to find ME moments to think, to eat, and to use the laptop without little hands banging at the keys. (Because I’m just crazy enough to be working and volunteering in several different places on top of my full-time mom job). Games of “climb Mommy” and a baby who at times doesn’t want to be put down: in other words, being needed and crowded and touched all day long. The weariness of trying to keep to a schedule, be consistent, give them boundaries, and mother even when I don’t feel like mothering. Watching the clock for when Daddy will be home to share the burden. Dinner with a friend—delightful but slightly rushed because the clock is ticking and I need to get home to my nursing infant. Children finally in bed, and now I can take a stab at that never ending to-do list. Or maybe just crash because I’m. So. Tired.
So many sweet moments. Brothers sprawled on the floor, looking at the same book. The littlest one giggling as the bigger one (no, I can’t call him “the big one” because he’s still my baby too) dances a silly dance. Everyone piled on my lap as we watch a certain little tiger and his neighbors on TV; I hold my little ones tightly and take joy in the fullness of my arms. I kiss the tops of heads as I breathe in the blessing that is my boys. Silly moments of toddler games and jokes: he plays hide and seek by simply running to a corner or covering his eyes. So many cars—everything important in life is cars when you’re two. The smile post-nap when baby looks up at me like there’s absolutely nothing better in the world than me. Watching them grow and learn and develop before my very eyes—when did I start having actual conversations with my two year old? And wasn’t it just yesterday that my baby could barely hold up his own head? Now he’s on his tummy, kicking strong legs and bringing toys up to his mouth. Using our imaginations to sip coffee or eat pretend food or play the sleep/wake up! game. Water squirt guns outside and sandy hands from digging in the sandbox. Butterfly kisses and Eskimo kisses and sweet, soft kisses planted on my cheek. The pure joy and exhilaration and squeals of excitement when Daddy walks through the door at the end of the work day. Prayers said while holding hands at bedtime, and the surprise of what my son wants to thank Jesus for each day. The feel of baby, completely trusting, asleep on my chest. The tight squeeze of a “heavy hug” from my firstborn. Smiles. Beautiful smiles on two beautiful boys. So many tactile, wonderful moments of love in a day.
I’m tired, yes, but I wouldn’t trade these moments for anything. I’ve been told many times by mamas whose babies have left the nest that “the days are long, but the years are short.” I know there will come a day, sooner than I’d like, that I’m going to miss the goodness of this season. So I pray for strength and ask God to help me soak up all the beauty each day holds. Let me recognize the treasure I have for what it is. Let me realize the blessings of now.