However, my play room is a hodgepodge collection of toys in un-matching baskets lined up against a strange colored wall with crayon streak accents. Wait, who am I kidding? The toys are rarely in the un-matching baskets. The baskets are usually overturned and toys are strewn...just s t r e w n everywhere.
My kids have maybe worn coordinating outfits twice in their lifetimes. If I do get them dressed before lunch, I'm lucky if their shirt is spot free by dinner. I don't want to start on me. Let's just say the woman who got dressed and ready for the day 4 years ago is much different than the woman today, who counts wearing clean yoga pants as being ready.
But my heart sang a quiet, lovely song today. The 5 of us (kids and mommy) were upstairs in our always messy, very large playroom. I had just fed the baby and he was sleeping lazily in a milk stupor on my chest. His soft breaths leaving tiny warm spots on my arm. My three toddlers were playing together. Read that last sentence again. Because the opposite of that sentence is what usually goes on. Fighting over toys, wrestling over toys, crying over toys and because of this whole new baby thing, a lot of the refereeing and supreme court judging is done from the couch while little man is eating.
But at this moment, the kids were pretending to go the beach together and packing each other's back packs with pretend food and tiny horses. Every once in a while they would bring me "lunch" in the form of a plastic pretzel and plastic hot dog on a tiny pink plate. But then tell me it wasn't ready yet and take it back to their kitchen to put in the microwave.
The space was so pleasant and comfortable, my very bones tingled with contentment. I sent up a quick prayer of gratitude for this moment. For these beings in my life that give me grief (to be sure) but so much more joy.
And before I could even finish my thankful refrain, the wind picked up, sending golden leaves into the air from our big tree out back. The sun was peaking out from one of the many clouds that had dominated the afternoon. So the leaves caught the warm fall light as they flitted to the ground. Every window in our corner play room had so many golden flecks that even the kids stopped and noticed.
It was so beautiful. A reminder that God listens and loves me.
Because as I was saying thank you, the leaves fell, so lovely and light, as if to say you're welcome.
Of course 3 minutes later I was telling one of my sons (almost verbatim) "please don't take the lid off your hippo cup and dump water on the table..." Then later, "please don't yell at your sister, we can all look at the book." And even still, "there are six hot dogs, you don't need all of them, you can share."
I already know my leaf moment today will outlast the refereed hot dog match. Twenty-five years from now, when I have a slight ache in my heart from missing plastic lunches served by stubby toddler hands, I won't care about the spilled cup of water, but I will remember my falling leaves and the warm glow of contentment we all shared.
If just for a moment.
|Snapped this after I watched the wind burst send dancing leaves past all the windows.|