His tiny hand of butter and silk stroked my face, from the tip of my brow, to the crest of my lip, sometimes with a brief pause to pinch my nose.
It was one of those sleepless nights full of unexplained cries and sleepy snuggles, and so – ready or not – my Littlest and I greeted the morning together.
My eyelids fluttered and lingered shut for too long a moment for his liking. But he didn’t cry. He rustled me patiently and gently, letting me know he was content just to be close, but would prefer my wakeful attention. The charm of the thing was almost more than a heart can hold.
The tender affection of a little one, so precious and pure – it humbles the heart.
This first moment of the morning ushered in the equally obvious and revolutionary realization that being a mama is absolutely and completely a gift.
Worth it. Blessed. Abundant. A joy.
So why didn’t I seem so grateful for the opportunity to shepherd and care for my children, less than an hour later?
Another snow day, another breakfast mess, another runny nose, another fresh cover of toys on freshly mopped floor, another fight over morning chores, another pile of laundry. A new round of bickering, tattling, back-talking, noise. Another attempt at morning devotions ending in lecture about respect and inappropriate times for silliness.
And all before 8am. Same old story.
There is this ever-common experience that mamas seem to share…that we unreservedly know that our children are a gift, and we manifestly struggle to walk in that truth through the mess of the day.