My children are small.
Their voices are loud.
Their hands are sticky.
Their eyes are big and curious.
Their feet are fast, rarely still and in one place.
They drag me from my bed while the sky is still dark and the world outside still feels mysterious. I lumber from my slumber like a beast that’s been hibernating too long. In reality I feel like I cannot catch up on my sleep. But I won’t say no to their excitement to face the day. So with the largest coffee I can find I too will face it.
They grip me with fingers still sweetly chubby with youth. Tugging on my arms and clinging to my neck. Leaving a trail of wet kisses on my cheeks.
They demand much of my time. Play with me, they say. Put on this costume, they implore. Make me food, they demand. And I do.
My time is not my own. My body is rarely my own. It hasn’t been since that very first heartbeat sprung to life from deep inside my womb.
I’m a mother.
It’s not about me.
You can’t be selfish as a mother. Not the mother I aspire to be anyway.
So I share all of me. I give all of me except for what I pour into my writing and what I manage to scrape together for my husband.
This is the season of life when my whole world consists of a precocious toddler girl and a clever growing boy. It’s the season when I give and give and give until I am spent by the end of each day, crawling under my covers a bit delirious and exhausted to my core.
But I won’t wish this season of life away.
I’ll embrace my cluttered home and sink of endless dishes. I won’t berate myself for laundry that is always two days behind. I won’t be embarrassed by a car floor that is often covered in crushed crackers and cereal. I refuse to apologize for not looking as I did before children. I won’t feel guilty for not having much time for my friends.
I’ll laugh at potty humor and stinky feet. I’ll build with Legos. I’ll sit down and have pretend tea in tiny cups. I’ll wait in doctor’s office waiting rooms. I’ll snuggle on the couch. I’ll read stories. I’ll kiss banged up knees. I’ll wipe tears.
I am busy. But it’s a good busy. It’s an amazing busy. Busy with a life that matters to me and the people who matter to me.
One day I won’t be so busy. There will come a time when the hours move more slowly. When those days come I want these memories. These memories I’ve made in a toy-filled noisy home.
This is what I’m doing. This is the life I’m living.
Your expectations of me simply pale in comparison to the expectation in those wonder-filled eyes of my children. They are mine and I am theirs. This is the busy season.