Today had its stressful moments. We are still struggling with Lina’s feedings. Finding the right bottle for her is an ongoing challenge, and it is so discouraging to watch my hard-won breast milk leaking out of her poorly-latched mouth. Meanwhile, Corin has begun resorting to ear-splitting screams to express his displeasure with time outs. We are working hard to establish consistent obedience, and it requires constant vigilance and endless patience.
But I didn’t sit down here to write about the inevitable frustrations of the day.
I just left Corin’s bedroom after laying my sleepy boy in his crib. As I sat in the rocking chair where we have spent so many hours, my nose buried in his still-damp curls, his body hugging mine, his lovey draped over my shoulder, I was overwhelmed – with love, with gratitude, and with a little bit of sadness. I realized: this time, this perfect moment, is so fleeting. Already, he barely fits in my lap. It won’t be long before he does not want me to rock him, when he is too grown up for lovey and nighttime back rubs. Soon, he won’t drop the “s”-es from the beginnings of his words, he won’t run with his legs pumping and arms swinging to the side, and he won’t thank Jesus for his toy lawnmower.
I thought about Lina’s tiny body, about the pleasure of watching her eyes light up as she explores my face, about her sweet newborn coos, the feeling of her face burrowing into my neck or her little hand resting against my chest as she sleeps.
I wanted to reach out and physically grasp this moment in time, to hold it and keep it from slipping away. I prayed a prayer of deep gratitude for the gift of these children, for these finite moments, for the acute joy of watching my little ones change and grow day by day.
Tomorrow, next month, next year will have their joys, too. I am usually a mother who looks forward to what lies ahead. But today, I cling to the sweet now. With all the exhaustion and frustration, I come to this evening full of gratitude, thankful that right now, my children need me, to rock, to soothe, to kiss, to feed. Tonight, I am just thankful to be their mom.