Oh this life. My life. It’s crazy busy and all-consuming and it’s so easy to get swept away in the mundane. I think most mothers (or any woman!) would agree. But especially with lots of littles. I am recognizing that these years, with them all little and dependent and needy and close together, are probably going to be the hardest for me. Although each age and number of children brings challenges (I can only imagine my car duty when they get bigger!), the emotional, mental, and physical stamina that the next 5-10 years will take is staggering. (And yes, we plan on having more kids.)
But, it’s so easy to let the constant fix food, feed food, change diapers, break up fights, put down for naps, correct behavior, clean, etc sweep me under. It’s so easy to let it steal the joy of the little moments.
Last Thursday, the morning before the whole breathing debacle began, I had the opportunity to go to lunch by myself for an hour, without kids. I eagerly jumped at the chance, ordered a delicious lunch and happily ate it (still hot!), while perusing a current book, Fit to Burst. And of course, I snapped a quick instagram celebrating the lack of food throwing, fussing, or food stealing.
But that night, I took one of my babies to the ER because he just couldn’t catch a breath. And the next night I held him in my arms, completely helpless, as I watched his little body literally be too exhausted to breathe on his own as the CPAP pushed air into his lungs.
Oh reality check. Hello.
A couple of days later, on Mother’s Day, I watched as my instagram and facebook feed filled with all the amazing mothers I know eating breakfast with their littles, opening hand drawn cards with a barely legible “I love you mom” scrawled inside. And I sat, alone again, in a hospital cafeteria after a few hours of broken sleep in a chair down the hall from the PICU.
All I wanted in that moment, was to be back at my kitchen table. With crusted on food from dinner the night before, little hands grabbing up blueberries and tossing bits of egg on the floor, and the shrieks and screams that somehow always show up. I wanted to be giving warnings to not throw plates, and saying just one more bite, and kicking the dog out from under the table. I wanted dirty hands to wash, stained clothes to wipe, and a sink overflowing with dishes. The mundane suddenly seemed perfect.
Isn’t it funny how God works in our lives? He knows just when we need a reminder of just how very, incredibly blessed we are. So that evening, I took out my big camera and captured some pictures of Jonah in the hospital. I want to remember how I felt at breakfast on Mother’s Day 2013. I want to remember how scared I was for my baby, and just how thrilled I was to see his smile again after 3 days. How wonderful it was to have to constantly reattach monitors because he was finally feeling well enough to move around.
I never want to forget how beautiful a dirty table, load of laundry, or stack of dishes is. Because it means I have little bodies to clothe, feed, and clean. And that, that is a miracle.