Sunday, May 12, 2013

Treasuring These Things: Mother's Day Eve, 2013

The day began in the dark, chilly quiet of 4:30.
I have been blessed with a baby who sleeps from 9 to 6 more often than not.  This morning was a "not."  This morning, you were wide awake at 4:30.  For the next hour and a half, I held you while you ate, and giggled, and smiled, and looked.  I wasn't very good company, but you didn't seem to mind.  I sang a lullaby, hoping you'd settle down and I could get another half hour of sleep.  You sang with me.  When you did fall asleep, I didn't.  I sat there and held you and thought that these hours, with no big siblings or housework or anything else demanding my attention, was a gift.  A gift to Mommy from Molly, for Mother's Day: two whole hours of smiles, and giggles, and coos, and songs, and those beautiful wonder-full eyes taking in all of the world around them.

The day began at 6:30.
Your sister had just fallen soundly asleep, and I was near drifting off myself, when I heard you get up, go to the bathroom, and wash your hands.  I thought about how responsible you're becoming, how short (yet long) a time it's been since I cuddled you in the sleepy dawn-light listening to Daddy's alarm.  After washing your hands, you came into my room, knocked several things off my nightstand so you could get closer to me, and whispered, "Mommy, the sun is awake.  Can it be morning? please?"  I stifled the desire to snap something sarcastic, and told you that yes, it was morning, but since everyone was still sleeping you should play very quietly in your bedroom.  You did.  (Another Gift.)  

Later, I watched you play.  Your dinosaurs roamed a vast domain - all the corners of the bedroom, the hall, the stairs.  You love to lay down next to Molly, eye to eye, and tell her stories from your imagination, to tell Sarah stories, to become a character in a story and play out the role, to build puppets with your blocks or use your toys to act out the story.  And you always make it bigger and more interesting than the story I would've told, even if it happens to be the same one.  When we went hiking, and saw a tower, it was Rapunzel's Castle - but she's not home, because when you called "let down your hair" she didn't answer.  You protect your sisters, come running for me when Molly cries, make sure Sarah remembers the rules.  You make me understand, a little better, how amazing my Mom is and what it must've been like to mother me.

The day began at 7:30.
I heard John's play getting a little louder, a little more excited.  I went in to remind him that you were sleeping.  Only you weren't.  That is to say, your eyes were open.  You were still in bed, and I asked if you would mind me climbing in with you.  We cuddled and snoozed for about an hour, while the dinosaurs did their thing.  I apologized for letting Molly monopolize my arms lately.  That hour was another of my Mother's Day Gifts - a nap with my favorite hug-giver.

Afterwards, we got dressed and you helped me make breakfast, just Sarah and Mommy.  You are a such a good helper - excited to be with me, paying attention to what I do and asking good questions, doing anything you're asked with a cheerful attitude.  I need to invite you into my work more often.

Molly giggles and coos, John is a chatterbox, but you don't say much at all.  Not that you can't talk, if you wanted to.  It's just that you'd rather watch and listen.  But when  we were walking at the park, you held my hand most of the time.  Near the end, as we'd returned to the car, you tugged on my arm: "Mommy, mommy - I know what happened to Rapunzel!"  Your voice dropped almost to a whisper.  "She sailed away on a pirate ship!"  Your little imagination had been marinating on that story ever since we found the "castle," and I was the person you chose to share it.

There are far too many days when I don't stop and savor these moments.  Mornings when I just want to get 10 more minutes of sleep, to get breakfast on the table, to get on with the day.  Afternoons when I'm too preoccupied with my grown-up stuff to enter into your imaginings.  Days when "being Mommy" is just something else I have to do, instead of something I get to do.  And these little gifts are brushed aside, and forgotten, gathering dust in the corners.  But today, I am seeing you.  And I'm staggered by the weight of this treasure that God has entrusted to me.