Today, before I set feet on the floor, I prayed that you would hear me. That you would listen for the heart behind my words. That God would give me vast stores of patience and grace. That He would lead us in these tricky waters. Waters I’ve never navigated […]
Month: February 2014
So I identify with those Israelites wandering. The days. They seem to run together, one after another, ’til I feel dizzy. I’m spinning so. And I try to keep up with what’s expected of me. What God wants. What people want. And so many times […]
Last night I didn’t want to dance.
I’d finished dishes, wiped down counters, and started another load of laundry. I had papers to correct, a chapter to write, and I really, really just wanted to snuggle under the covers and get lost in a book.
But your eyes.
They sparkled the question and beseeched me for time. Time to twirl and spin. To get lost in deep belly giggles instead of getting lost in a screen or book. Apparatuses like a wall between your little face and mine.
So we danced. We moved slow and fast across the carpet. And you giggled, twirled and spun until you were dizzy. Dizzy with joy.
And couldn’t I be dizzy with joy? If I danced more and worried less? If I put down the things that distract and pick up the things that matter. Pick you up with your legs and arms stretching by the minute.
I see it in your big sister. How her legs and arms stretched. How her hair grew long. And her vocabulary did too. She is a beauty, and every day I am getting to know this young lady she is becoming. I see it with delight. And a stab of fear too, because it happened so fast. Wasn’t it just yesterday that she looked up at me head thrown back, Shirley Temple-curls bobbing, giggling. “Come dance with me, Mama!” And too often, I smiled and patted her voluminous curls.
But I didn’t dance.
And I think of the sadness in the woman’s eyes as she told me one day, “I wish I could do it over. I’d laugh more and read more. I’d love more. Now my dishes are done; the laundry is done. Toys don’t litter the floor, and I don’t have fingerprints on my glass. It’s quiet. I always wanted quiet.”
But her eyes told me that quiet, too, can be loud. And in that space, the should haves loom large and sorrowful.
So I look at your little sister. How her legs and arms too are starting that process of lengthening, thinning. I grieve for the chubby thighs and potbelly that were just there. I giggle at her expanding vocabulary, but the lump grows big in my throat when I realize she’ll never be this little again. So I hug her close and breathe in the toddler smell of her and embrace the hot, sticky fingers that grasp my neck. I kiss her rosebud mouth over and again.
And then I see you: sweet, fun middle daughter. In your sweet spot. Oh there are signs that tomorrow even, you will have the vocabulary and humor of a school girl. But today. Today you still want to twirl and dance and cuddle.You’re really too big to be picked up, but I do it anyway. I hold you, gangly legs and all. But I don’t hold you enough. And I don’t dance enough.
But you give me grace and the space to grow to be a better mama. And you beckon again and again, “Come dance with me, Mama!”
And I will. Oh sweet girl, please don’t ever stop asking me to dance. Wear your pink, muddy cowgirl boots forever. Wear them with that spring dress that doesn’t match your winter tights and the cardigan you insist on wearing. And put on oodles of necklaces and scarves. With your hair uncombed and a bit of snack left on your face.
You look beautiful.
Dance with me?
I don’t share all that much about our home school days simply because we’re so busy doing our days. Quite honestly, sometimes I’m too tired to reenact them for you all! Or I’m just ready to talk about adult content and leave the lessons plans for the next day! […]
I know I’ve written about it before, but the words get me every time. They are typed in her dedication before the ink even really starts telling her story. Life-changing words. If you don’t know Mary Beth Chapman’s story, her son fatally hit his youngest sister when he […]