I’m lying in my bed with my five year old snuggled next to me. I stroke her soft, copper hair. She rolls over and I see her cute button nose and twelve or so freckles. When she talks, her mouth makes exaggerated movements (admittedly somewhat Trump-like) and her slight lisp is also exaggerated when she gets excited. It’s like lying next to a little piece of heaven here on Earth.
But I’m tired and I really wanted to watch twenty-five minutes of Netflix from the comfort of my pillow before I roll over to go to sleep. Oh, she will not be still. Swoosh, swoosh go her legs on the sheets at 10:57 p.m. Sweet girl had a bad dream so I was happy to let her climb into my bed. After three “settle downs,” a back scratch, and “are you ok?” the legs continue to swoosh and I snap, “be still and go to sleep or go back to your own bed!”
How fleeting the moments of heavenly sweetness last in a day! But I’ll take them! I take those sweet moments because our day is like a roller coaster – a dark, indoor roller coaster in which you can’t see or predict the twists and turns that lie ahead.
The “simple” act of taking the girls to dance class can entail multiple bursts of sweetness and hell-raising attitude. As I helped Ellie get her shoes on, Sammy snapped, sassed, and complained about everything from ponytail holders to needing a toy for the five minute car ride. But at the dance studio, I stare mesmerized at the window, peeking at my pink ballerina and her sleek sister in jazz class, sass-free and intently practicing her pirouette. It makes the ten sweaty minutes of shoving feet into stubborn tights while enduring an onslaught of complaints melt away.
The seven year old blew me away with her heavenly sweetness the other night. After tucking her in, I turn around to say goodnight one last time when I notice a tear in her eye and she says, “why am I here?”
“On Earth?” I ask, sensing the upcoming existential conversation. She shrugs her shoulders and gives a slight nod of the head. I gave a vague answer and tried not to ramble too much. We talked about how people have different talents that fill up others’ hearts. She followed up with, “does life go on forever?” I gave her the cold, hard truth as seen from her Baptist-turned-Presbyterian momma. I told her our loved ones will one day die but that we will all meet up again in Heaven. When the tears started pouring out, I managed a well-timed witty comment along with a tickle that got her back to smiling. The thoughts that swim in this girl’s mind. Oh my.
This morning, with my girls’ trip to the Bahamas on my mind, I went upstairs to wake Sammy who greeted me with morning loveliness such as “noooooo, I don’t wanna get up.” And, “why are you using MY hairbrush?! You are going to get your brown hair stuck in it!”
Thankfully my husband eventually reminded both girls of my trip and they came running to give me hugs. Glad I got two squeezes of sweetness before my trip. Like I said, I’ll take those moments (or nanoseconds) when I can get them because it’s a Space Mountain of emotion around this house every day.