“There’s so much beauty in the world. Sometimes I feel like I’m seeing it all at once, and it’s too much, my heart fills up like a balloon that’s about to burst…and then I remember to relax, and stop trying to hold on to it, and then it flows through me like rain and I can’t feel anything but gratitude for every single moment of my little life.”
I just tucked the last of the littles in bed, in a room with an extra set of eyes and legs and arms, since we have cousins staying the night… one sharing the space of my kid’s room floor. After an adventure in jumping mattresses and giggle fits, they’ve finally succumbed to the sleep over-taking the atmosphere of the room. As I sat wishing away their distracted cries and tired fidgets, I realized that this too was a special moment with those tender and sweet, vulnerable and impressional minutes between holding on to daylight and giving in to twilight.
A moment I’m grateful for.
It’s easy to recognize grand moments, like life-altering births and pledging love ’till the end of days, first days of school and first steps. But what about all of the between moments, the paragraphs in which the climax of each chapter of our lives is written upon? When his hand reaches for yours while taking a walk. When baby boy grips you tight, because all he really wants, all he really needs in that moment is you. When big sister drops everything she’s doing a brings you a note filled with crooked hearts, drawn by five-year-old hands in bright purple, “Just for you, mommy.”
Moments I’m grateful for.
And even then, those tender times still have the magnitude of love tugging heartstrings, and I’m brought back to a dark room, lit only by nightlights and a tiny Christmas tree shinning glimmers of purple, red and green on the walls and ceiling, where three tired kids fight sleep by giggling at everything, sucking on fingers and flipping from front to back… and then front again. I sit there, thinking only of how early they’ll have to wake tomorrow and know this could end very badly, until I realize just how grateful I am to have three little ones, two of my own and another “borrowed” family member, getting along and happily squirming this way and that, needing to be told it’s time for sleep now, again. Or how blessed I am to be able to wipe each of my children’s ten sticky fingers and messy mouth after each and every meal. And the mornings I wake seemingly moments after I’ve fallen asleep, after tending to one and then the other all night, and realize through a fog of sleep deprivation just how aware I am of the gratitude I feel for their presence.
In the big moments and the little. The high-on-life bookends and the middle, filled with normal moments, tucked in the corner of a warm coffee shop with baristas calling out names and orders over the whir of steaming milk.
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