I remember this day well. She was a beast this day. I was trying to get some bills paid. She came and demanded to sit in my lap.
This daughter of mine with translucent fairy-like skin, wispy white strands, and rosebud lips could produce a dragon like, earth-shaking rage that had thrown the entire house off kilter this particular morning. She had tried my patience, pushed my limits, and tested my sanity. Her brothers were steering clear, and my momma’s heart had long ago “left the building”. I was exhausted from remaining calm, consistently disciplining, and trying to reassure this little being of my love and her boundaries all at once.
Mamma, I know how hard this task is. How emotionally, physically, and mentally draining.
I was ashamed then, and I am ashamed to tell you now (but I will, so that you will know you aren’t alone) that I wanted my space. I had things I needed to do. But the brutal truth was that I just wanted to be left alone for a single minute to take a breath, re-balance, and to feel peace.
She wasn’t having it. (This has always confused me about my children. After discipline, I wanted to get as far away from my parents as I could. Not mine. They seem to throw themselves into me after these hard moments.) She wiggled her little self into her desired spot with no help from me. My initial response was to put her down. Demands do not get you what you want, regardless of emotions. But Holy Spirit pulled at me, He arrested my tongue, and I wrapped my arm around her and continued working. I looked back down within 5 minutes and saw this.
This moment was not just about her, my Heavenly Father, the greatest of parents, was giving me a gift I could not at the beginning see. He was healing the hurt of my heart through the very one that had bruised it. He was restoring my peace through she who shook it.
My Father gave me the wisdom in that moment to know that everything could wait, after all, what was one more late night. And I watched. I had been here before, she is not my first-born, so I realized there were few of these moments left. I settled deep into this one. I tried hard to memorize how she smelled, I traced the soft lines of her baby face trying to commit every tiny curve to memory. She slept 4 hours that day, every precious one in my lap, against my chest, as I listened to her tiny breaths.
Four hours was a huge part of my day. We had sandwiches for dinner, I only completed one load of laundry, two little boys had lots of play time, and I did stay up until the birthing of a new day. Six years later, those four hours are but a drop in the bucket of time, but they occupy a HUGE spot in my vault of precious memories. I would give up the hours of a whole day to go back and do it again.
I am so glad I fell behind, because that was the last time she slept, really slept, nestled against me. It was my last chance to hold that sleeping baby.
Momma’s who are in the trenches of the little years, it’s okay to fall behind in your house work or to serve sandwiches for dinner…again, and it is imperative to acquiesce to the nudges of the Holy Spirit. Ask Him to parent God’s children on loan through you, and let Him. Don’t get so busy doing, that you forget to live, to remember (dimpled fingers, chubby cheeks, funny phrasing, and sticky kisses). Four children…I birthed four babies…and yet…somehow, the dimpled fingers and toddling steps of the little years are gone. My baby’s baby voice is fast fading. So please hear me. It goes by faster than you can imagine as you sit in the messy, exhausting trenches of the little years. You will yearn (though you may not be able to imagine it now) for these days again. Your arms will ache to hold that sticky baby one more time. In your future, you will one day look back and declare these to be Golden Years.