When Caleb gives me the afternoon off that I had been longing for all week, I take my time strolling around Target. Day dreaming my way through the aisles, the colors and lovelies that I haven't seen in months drown out the crying and temper tantrums of someone else's kid.
I peruse the fancy furniture consignment store, not even slightly concerned that I would leave the place a wreck, because I am free of my little explorers.
I stare at hundreds of titles in the non-fiction shelves at the library, uninterruptedly reading the jackets for something that will appeal to my grown-up intellect.
I sip my Americano and thumb through my unillustrated book, recuperating my brain cells from the 40 MONTHS of pregnancy and abundance of donated DHA that have left my mind mostly on a second grade level.
And I feel gathered, restored and slightly surprised when I call Caleb and he informs me that he just finished feeding the kids dinner, and he gave Reece a bottle a couple hours ago.
"How great!" I think to myself, "since I have trained them so well and the routine is so established, what a compliment to my lovely afternoon when I return to kiss their freshly bathed skin and read them a new library book."
Imagine my dismay when I came home to this...
The best part of this was that the power was out. And the water that we get at the house is from a well, that runs on an electric powered pump. So no freshly bathed skin to kiss.
My muddy perspective failed to see the delightful time that the kids were having with their dad, the best dad in the world, who lets them get muddy and run in the forest.
I missed the joy in this...
and this-and this-
But we read a book by the light of a lantern and I tucked their dirty bodies into their freshly washed sheets. Wipe the mud from my eyes and enjoy the Lord's gifts.
A few nights ago, I had another slightly muddy perspective, or rather a dog-tired perspective. I was ready to go to sleep at 8:07 pm. I cracked under pressure to hang out with my bff, Caleb and managed to get in bed by 10:30. Which was just a few minutes before Reecey woke up for one of her few nightly feedings. I nearly wept. I was so tired, so dog-gone tired!!!
How thankful was I when Caleb offered to feed Reece a bottle? Very, very thankful. So I drifted off to sleep. And I woke at 11:30 to her screaming because Caleb was extracting snot from her stuffy nose with those special bulb aspirators.
Momma's a light sleeper. So now I am struggling to fall back to sleep and she is coughing and crying and Caleb's snoring and I am awake. I am laying there and through my dog-tired perspective I am thinking, "WHAT THE HECK??? He knew I was tired, he fed her a bottle, couldn't he just finish the job and rock that little baby to sleep so I wouldn't wake up?"
So I drag my exhausted body out of bed and lift that little babe from her crib, sit in the rocker and have a stare off with those big, blue eyes. As I rock back and forth, back and forth, I enjoy her little grin through that big ole paci and her long soft fingers grabbing at my nose.
These moments of late night tenderness are slipping through my hand faster than I can grab them. The moments of kids laughing and running covered in mud are just a breath in our short lives.
God, give me a clear perspective. Clean off the mud and wake up my Spirit to praise you in all these things.