The time trickles by slowly – I pause sometimes, like today, in afternoon sunshine and soft breeze. The grass tickles my delighted toes and Annalise, my youngest daughter, grins with anticipation as she slides down the slide. The shrieks of kids playing and the roar of hot wheels rolling on cement. I pause and drink in the blue of the sky and the quiet of the moment.
The time races by in breathless moments, where I feel like I can’t take it all in. The sweetness of baby cheeks and toothy grins and funny baby chats. The squishy thighs and the impish smiles and the sparkling eyes.
Ellie, my wonderful six year old, does this thing, when she tells me stories about school. She makes her eyes really big and her voice is reflecting every emotion she felt in the real life happening. I want to somehow swallow the moments and never forget them! Each child is so precious. Each one, growing and changing so fast.
I worry about keeping my house clean, so I brush away the tiny hands (looking to hold me), so I can rush to the next task and find my value and worth there. Shiny, sparkly floors and clutter free surfaces. My brain likes those things, a lot. The chaos and dirt and constant repeating of certain truths – parenting really – is exhausting.
Sometimes I feel like I’m not really a person anymore, and I get all dramatic thinking about who I will be when they are grown. I sort of picture myself emerging from a cave, an old haggard lady, blinking at the light, gazing in awe at the world around me that has happened while I stayed in my house, raising my children.
But that’s drama. It’s just my brain drama. The real me is here. Loving my babies. Being changed and shifted and refined and squished. And I will emerge from this season of raising littles, with a sparkle in my eye.
I will carry more wisdom yet walk more humble.
I will pray harder and my prayer time will be sweeter.
I will be more confident in who I am and wear what I really like and make hard choices because it’s the right thing to do and my children are watching me.
I will serve others better.
My kids call me higher.
What an upside down kingdom. Because perhaps in some eyes I am throwing “me” away by scrubbing the toilets and bottoms and dishes. Perhaps sometimes I listen to the snake lie that says “but you are losing yourself in the mundane”.
The truth is that I am finding myself in learning to lay my life down. I have the greatest privilege I have ever known. Little arms wrapped around my neck, soft kisses on my cheek, a six-year-old hand in mine. They trusts me. They ask me questions about truth and what is real. They depend on me to feed them and provide clean clothes for them and pray over them when they have bad dreams. I am their anchor and what makes their world right. Right now.
I am more “me” then I have ever been.