Mother's Musings

On changing the heart

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Memories get so hazy so fast, and sometimes I feel like I can barely remember yesterday. What will I remember in a month? In five years?  In twenty?  I read this quote before I had kids on the blog that made me want to mother more than anything else (here).  The quote has a very concrete home in my heart.

““Everything in all the books I once pored over is finished for me now. Penelope Leach. T. Berry Brazelton. Dr. Spock. The ones on sibling rivalry and sleeping through the night and early-childhood education, all grown obsolete. Along with ‘Goodnight Moon’ and ‘Where the Wild Things Are,’ they are battered, spotted, well used. But I suspect that if you flipped the pages dust would rise like memories.” Then she goes on and talks about some of the mistakes she made while raising her babies. “…the biggest mistake I made is the one that most of us make…I did not live in the moment enough. This is particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs. There is one picture of the three of [my children] sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages 6, 4, and 1. And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night. I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing: dinner, bath, book bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less.”
–Anna Quindlen

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I have such a sweet little life with a slow routine, just my boys and I most days.  It really hit me as we drove to a park at 11am the other day how wonderful this time of life is.  I have only about five years with each child all to myself.  I do not have to take them to school, yet.  They are all mine.  I just get to soak them up and breathe them in.  Some days are hard, some days are perfect, and each day brings me closer to the one where I will send them off to kindergarten or college or marriage.  I know we all have days where sending them off ANYWHERE sounds like a dream, but we also have so many days that seem to be so wonderful and full of love that you wonder how any mother ever wipes the last tear after saying goodbye to her sweet five year old on his or her first day of school.

The quote has lingered so long in my thoughts that I started to take five minutes and write down the tiny moments that made me so happy on those perfect days, not every day, just the days that had me falling asleep with a huge smile on my face.  I decided I would remember what a day at the park or home in our jammies looked like.  Chances are I will remember a lot of the big moments, but in ten years I want to have a clear picture of what those sweet boys did to make my heart flutter.

Yesterday Boston woke up sick and VERY grumpy.  I barely made it to nap time without a “SOS” text to my husband.  I try to take five or ten minutes to read or pray or mediate on something at the beginning of nap time just for a little sanity.  I opened my journal and read this:

December 20, 2016

Today was such a wonderful day with my boys.  We talked all morning and Boss wanted to watch “just a little flash with you, Mama” (he says mama so cute…mawmaaaawwww leaving his mouth open on the last ma and kinda fast…people always comment on it).  So we watched a little bit of his favorite superhero.  Then, after the gym, we were driving to Costco and Boss randomly said, “thank you for making the house clean, Mama.”  I started crying because it was so sweet and cute that his brain was just randomly was thinking that.  I said a prayer out loud thanking Heavenly Father for such a sweet grateful boy, and Boss LOVED it .  He kept asking why I did it.  At Costco Benny kept eating all his testers laying on Boston’s shoulder and Boss would say, “Ya, Benny…you can hay (how he says “lay”) on me!!!”  They both loved eating all the testers just like me.  When we got home it was so warm we went to the tennis courts and pretended to be superheroes (Wonder War, Gold Beast, and Baby Thunder) and zoomed around with wind and fire power.  Boss would yell out, “I’ll save you Mama!! I’ll save you from the monster!”  Benny would run in my arms and just look up at me like I’m the best thing in the world and laugh.  It was so sweet.  I’m so lucky to have them.  My heart is literally bursting.  Thank you, God, for giving me the best two buddies in the world.  

Every single hard or frustrating thing from earlier that day completely vanished as I read that.  Most days are not all sunshine and butterflies, but reading about one that was so wonderful sure made the “bad” one seem less terrible.  After every tantrum, snotty nose, sibling fight, and crazy mess I still have the best little buddies at my side.  Even though I did not get to one thing I had planned on that day, I still get to hug my little boys and kiss their dirty faces.  I may have yelled more than I cuddled that morning, but right when they woke up from naps I got them in my arms and tried to really burn all their little smells and twinkly eyes and crazy mismatched outfits into my brain.

I guess I don’t need to wait twenty years to read these little moments.  My heart could always use a small reminder of why it flutters.

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