I was dressing a naked little boy this morning, after his usual wake-up toilet run, and for some reason, he fell into my arms and just needed a hug. So, I accepted.
As he curled up into a ball within my arms and pressed his head in tight to my chest, I suddenly got this tightening in my belly as it struck me that someday, not too far away, he will be driving a car, covered in thick man hair, with responsibilities…and a boss. He’ll be on his way…to some other adventure – and my lap will be empty. There will be no more fights over staying in bed, no more wet un-won-wear, or play-doh on the floor. There will be no more gum in hair, or markers on the wall. No more dirt piled on the deck or matchbox cars down the hallway.
There will be silence, and rest, and time for reading more than a few paragraphs at a time. There will be easy meal clean-ups and showers when they’re convenient. Our bed will be ours once more and we will not wake to night terrors, nighttime giggles, or croupy coughs. The furniture and books will look about the same from day-to-day; pillows will remain in their places. There will be no peanut butter on door knobs or little muddy footprints running into the bathroom. Chaos will subside, someday.
But I hope not too soon.
As much as I struggle with the disasters my kids create and the loads (and loads, and loads) of laundry that pile continuously; despite the dishes I deal with three times a day, and all the correction and work that goes into raising these munchkins, as I sat there on the floor with my littlest guy, I didn’t care one bit. All I wanted was to grab on tighter and make sure he knows just how much I love him (dirty finger-nails and all) – How much I’m willing to give up, work hard for, lose sleep over, and struggle through for him and his siblings.
I get one chance .One vapor of a life.
The dirty dishes – pretty sure those are here to stay.
The laundry – may be less, but again, part of my pre-determined lot in life.
But these little ones…I’ve got to enjoy every moment I can cause they won’t be snuggling in forever… and I want to do well with the short time I have.
Which might mean I need to have more grace moments, and less law. It might mean ignoring the phone, texts, or emails. It might mean laying on their beds and talking deep talks when I’m really ready to be done for the day. It might mean throwing socks at each other while we’re folding laundry or letting the dirty dishes stack up so we can wrestle on the floor. It might mean looking up, listening in, sitting down, or opening arms at the worst times. It might mean not rushing them to hurry it up so much.
It might mean things don’t get done. (UGH!)
And, I’m learning to be ok with that.
Because…there’s a little boy, and a baby girl, and another bigger girl and oldest boy who are growing up really, really fast. And I want to do this one life well.