Finding Sacredness in My Corner of the World
I was thinking today about how content I am, doing just what I do in my life right now. I start the day snuggling two little girls, who are more awake than I am, in my chair the color of chocolate. I make a pot of coffee and take pleasure in watching the steam rise in curls out of a teal mug. I cook a pot of oatmeal or griddle up some chocolate chip pancakes. I pack lunch in a purple monkey box and help my little blonde firstborn pick out her outfit for school. I smooth tangled locks into cornsilk pigtails and pontails. I inspect brushed teeth, and check to see if shoes are on the right feet. I make sure homework sheets are completed, reading sheets are ready to hand in, and check the calendar so I can give Hannah a heads-up of what's happening at school.
I grab my bag and a lanky 3 year-old wearing her favorite brown boots, and we're out the door with Hannah running ahead, her bright blue Tinkerbell backpack bouncing. Sometimes we're happy and sometimes we're frazzled. Sometimes Natalie's still in pajamas, and I'm yelling, "C'mon, c'mon, we're late!" Sometimes we're early and have time to, literally, stop and smell the [daffodils].
We drive to school, talking about the day or about Hannah's classmates, or about afterschool plans. Sometimes one of the girls makes a special song request. When we've started the day off in not the best way, I ask Hannah to say a prayer on the way to school. And she does. And I reach back and squeeze her little hand in mine, and tell her I love her.
I make a point, no matter how the morning began, to hug her tightly in front of her school and tell her, "I love you. I'm so proud of you. I'll see you at 3 o'clock." The other day, she said, "I love you too," and dashed to the front door, before turning back to holler, "Don't forget!"
These are the moments I know that I am loved. These are the affirmations that so unexpectedly crop up to erase the uncertainties. Do they know I love them? Does she know that I'm so proud of her? Am I telling them enough, and showing them enough, that they are precious? Will she grow to be confident and walk tall? Am I building them up or squashing them?
I desire, so strongly, to love well. Anybody can love, but to love well takes effort. It takes intention and planning and quality time.
Natalie & I drive home to our little red house where we do things like start a load of laundry, tidy up the kitchen, cuddle on the couch, and play in the playroom. She finds me unloading the dishwasher, and says, "I could help you!" in her chirpy little voice that is like music.
It may not sound like much, but it's wonderful. From a young age, my biggest wishes were to be married and be a mother. As I grew up I added "writer" to my list of dreams. Throughout the years, there were obstacles that loomed so large I feared my dreams were unattainable.
But they weren't.
I met a man who is an impeccable model of loving well. He has loved me whether I was sick or well, "thick" or thin, happy or sad, thriving or just surviving. He has never wavered, not even for a moment, in his commitment to me.
And then we made a family... this beautiful duo of silky-haired little women who giggle and run and squabble and color (sometimes on the walls) while Natalie chirps, "I art-ing, Mama!"
This life, small as it may be, is what great things are made of.