Little Mila, I wonder if you can tell how much we love you...
You have filled this perfect little spot in our lives, reminding us of how special it is to have a small baby around again. There is something about taking care of a newborn, the fact that you are 100% dependent on our love, that makes one feel so needed, so selfless, but so important at the same time. You've rearranged our priorities around here, encouraging us to focus on the little things and sip life slowly. I am typically driven by my to-do list, measuring accomplishment by the quantity of tasks I can conquer in a given day and it's been so wonderful to abandon that for the last few weeks. At times, the transition has been hard, but the anxiety that sometimes creeps in dissolves just as quickly when you fall asleep on my chest, or when I pick out your clothes in the morning, or when you seem to stare into my eyes right through to my soul. Your eyes and the way you look at me makes me think twice about everything I once thought was important.
You are also introducing your big brother to all kinds of new virtues, teaching him patience, gentleness, and introducing him to a sweet love he's never experienced before. I see it all the time and it's been so amazing to witness. He loves you so much and shows it through these natural, organic ways that only a three year old could - the way he will come up and touch your nose completely out of the blue, or the way he presses his forehead up against yours, or the many times he will include you when we talk about playing something or going somewhere. I often expect to see jealousy in him as he's had to give up a significant amount of undivided Mom and Dad time; however, he's accepted and invited you into his world with arms wide open. That's a big thing for a three year old and we are so proud of him for it.
I'd be lying if I said it's been all rainbows and roses the past few weeks. One moment, I feel like mother of the year, and five minutes later, when Mila starts crying the minute I start a project with Cruz after he's asked me to "pway wif him" for the four hundredth time that day, I'll guiltily utter the words "in a minute" for the four hundredth time that day and feel like one big fat failure. I was patting myself on the back yesterday for having both kids bathed, breakfast finished, my shower complete, the bed made, and one load of laundry done and put away, only to look at the clock and realize it was time for lunch, the cereal bowls were still on the kitchen table, and I had yet to play with Cruz all morning. And just when I start to feel like I'm running in circles and doing nothing but wiping Cruz's highchair down or changing Mila's diaper for the millionth time, I remember what one of our pastors said in response to a mom of little children who confessed she struggled to find the time to be a good steward in this season of life.
There is nothing that teaches patience, grace, or selfless love more than raising little people. Every time you wipe a little mouth, or read a story before bed, or rock that baby that won't sleep in the middle of the night, you are doing God's work. It's not glamorous, or showy, but it's real. And there is perhaps no greater task than raising little children in a house that's filled with love, devotion, and grace.
As I sit here this afternoon, unshowered and smelling like breast milk, with Hamburger Helper on the menu for dinner and three unfinished puzzles at my feet, I rub my nose against your forehead, watch your eyes flutter in and out of dreams, and feel the warmth of your little breaths on my chest, and I feel like a queen. And there is no place in the world I would rather be than in this castle, wiping runny noses, fishing Hot Wheels cars from underneath the fridge with a yard stick, and doing my daily best to raise these babies in a home built on the fruits of the spirit. And when you see it as God's work, well then, it transforms from the mundane to the magical.
Those three o'clock feedings...quiet time with one of God's newest miracles, given and entrusted to me.
Wiping that day-old cottage cheese smeared on the kitchen table....playing house, just like when I was a little girl.
My three year old chatter box who likes to stand by the recliner and talk in my ear while I'm attempting to rock his sister to sleep...my daily sermon.
Grateful for this season, for the beauty and the mess. For it's all God's work.
Loved this essay floating around Facebook this morning. "Our culture doesn't have a good way to measure what you are accomplishing. Your baby will grow and meet milestones: check. But to the untrained eye most of this work, at the end of the day, will look like nothing.
But we know better."
Happy Monday, everyone! Looking forward to some lovey things this week for Valentine's Day, a date night and girl's night planned, and lots of pink on my newest Valentine. Have a good week. :)