Sometimes, in the passing blur of each busy day, in the steady hustle and bustle of the rhythm of our lives, in the occasionally overwhelming list of "to-do" which doesn't usually include "stop and just be", I forget.
In the midst of the whining, the demanding, the rowdiness, the complaints and noise, I forget.
The discipline and challenges, the frustrations, the loss of patience and peace. The snotty noses and dirty hands, the mess which somehow can never be quite contained and sprawls across our home with determined fervor. All this and even more..... is it any wonder that I sometimes forget?
I forget how much I love being a mother.
This happens... it's simply how it is. We who are in the trenches of motherhood cannot simply revel and rejoice in mommy-ness all the time and spend each moment blissfully adoring our small charges or the job we have been given. Reality, life, those children, they demand us to dig in with our sleeves rolled up and sweat it out, to survive, to do. It's a requirement, not an option, and I will be one of the first to admit that more often than not I find myself more humbled and exhausted than uplifted and beaming at the end of a long day.
It's easy to forget.
But, praise the good Lord above, He makes it just as easy to remember. It happens when you least expect it, like a slap in the face (the good, "hey, pull it together, you can do this" kind of slap) or silently and gradually, like the morning sun stealing across a room and touching even the most commonplace things with light.
These moments that make me remember, I want to wrap them up and keep them, close and always there...
....Annabelle comes to me as I fold laundry and buries her head in my shoulder for a moment and then kisses my cheek. "Mommy, I just love you so much. And you smell good."
...From the bedroom comes crying... Rosalie has pinched her fingers. As I stoop down to kiss the boo-boo, I notice she is dressed as a ladybug in skirt and wings, her round tummy bare and her pigtails all awry. She looks at me with those sad brown eyes, tears dripping off her nose, and I can't help but scoop her in close, feeling the warmth of her skin and her small body, feeling how much she needs me.
....Emma sits on the couch reading a book to herself, when her two sisters jump up beside her, begging her to share the story. So she starts the whole book over again, reading aloud in her girlish voice while Annabelle and Rosalie draw in close beside her. Not fifteen minutes ago there was fighting and bickering, and now, they sit together. Happy, close, sharing a moment of frienship and sisterhood, these three daughters of mine. They are a wonder.
....Quietly, I open the doors and tiptoe into their bedrooms at night, to tuck blankets back around sleeping bodies and remove some of the too-many books and stuffed animals that found their way into bed. Their preciousness overwhelms me and I simply have to brush the damp curls away from their sweet faces and kiss their round cheeks.
The moments, when I really stop and think about it, are too many to be numbered. The simple things that make me look at my girls and bring me joy, they never run out. Rosalie's laugh and joyous spirit. Emma's freckles, her growing maturity and beauty. Annabelle's fluffy hair and spontaneous smile and loving heart. And there will be a fourth one of these, all his or her own person, with a whole new personality to love and discover! Wonder indeed. These young years are hard, and the trench sometimes feels deep, but what joy and blessing is found within the place to which motherhood takes us.
I'm writing this at midnight, still awake because I'm waiting for my last load of the day's laundry to be done, and I know that morning and children and everything else will come all too soon. And I'm sure I will forget again, and I might be grumpy and snappish, impatient and tired.
But it'll be ok.
Because, just as surely, my gracious Lord will humble and help me remember. They will make me remember, and the joy and thankfulness will come back in. What reminders will He bring my way today? I don't know-- but I know, if I simply take the time to recognize them, they will sweeten each task.
I love being a mother. Oh, I do.