Sitting at the dinner table with two quiet girls only making sounds of "mmm" and chewing with the soft twilight coming in through the plants of our kitchen window box I find myself smiling and watching everything around me, wanting to remember how utterly perfect my experience as their mom is. Sarah looks at me and smiles and Mia slightly gags because she's still learning how to eat solids. My belly is full of leftover spaghetti and meatballs and yummy brussels spouts my hubby steamed earlier today. Sandy waits under the table for anything that falls and gets lucky when Mia offers her her sweet yellow pepper she's been half-gnawing on and half consuming.
A mother's day is very routine and can be mundane but because of the nature of children, it's also very different from day to day. I hope to appreciate the peaceful times like the one I just described and pray I can stay strong, calm and faithful when I'm tested to my limits by my little girls.
I'll tell you what I did today, to give you an idea of my world but mostly so I can look back and feel a bit of the joy I felt today.
I wake up to Sarah usually, we snuggle and I sound like a broken record reminding her to stay quiet because her little sister is still sleeping.
Michael gets up to make Sarah breakfast because I was up 4 times during the night and need the extra rest. Sarah goes to play in her room and ends up singing one of her random lyrical songs just loud enough to wake Mia up. Am I mad? Not really, I don't want to demand silence and I love how much she loves to sing.
We get Sarah off to preschool- Michael drives her when he's home in the mornings- and I race to get myself and Mia ready for my YMCA exercise. This morning it's Spin Class and I'm mentally preparing myself to get beat down as I throw on workout clothes and jump in the car. Spin delivers and I am red-faced and pooped but filled with more happiness and confidence.
It's kind of a weird schedule we follow when Michael's on nights, like he was today. Since we won't have time together at night I try and relax with him in the morning, watch a show and joke around a little. And because I won't have his help that evening I try and take a nap while Mia naps.
I nap too well and snooze my alarm too many times, and end up running to the front room in my underwear with sleepy eyes to ask Michael if he can get Sarah from preschool. He looks at the clock, stands up to go and kindly asks if I had a nice nap on his way out. I jump back into the warm covers until Mia wakes up minutes later ready to nurse.
The time from when Sarah gets home from preschool until bedtime is a mix up of trampoline playing, sitting in the grass with sunlight coming through pink cherry blossoms, raiding the kitchen for snacks, cleaning, patty-cake, a walk around the neighborhood, swinging and then, finally, dinner.
And so we come to that moment I remember how blessed I am to be here. To be Sarah's mother. To be Mia's mother. To adore mothering, nesting, home-making, serving and creating enough that all the dirty dishes and stinky diapers really just become afterthoughts when I recount my day.
Next I'm lying in bed snuggling Sarah and singing the three songs she requests every night, Rock-a-Bye Baby, Twinkle Twinkle and my choice of a "church" song. Our foreheads are pressed together as she's fading to sleep and I can't get close enough to her. Her little breath reaches my face and I kiss her nose, her forehead, her cheeks and her eyebrows. She tells me I can only kiss her 3 more times and I do but accidentally kiss her a fourth. When I apologize she giggles and says "That's OK, Mom."
Another little one is waiting in my room to be nursed, changed and read to before bedtime.
We grow closer together through our ritualistic evenings. She knows that after books are read and lights are out that I will snuggle her and sing to her the same song I do every night before gently placing her in her crib. I want to hold her until she's asleep, just to have more time with her as she sleeps peacefully, but I don't so that she learns to sleep on her own.
And now that I have time to myself I'm compelled to write the details of such a beautiful day in the life of me... as a mother.