"The full soul loatheth an honeycomb; but to the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet."
Proverbs 27:7The passing of the baby's first birthday combined with the slow and systematic removal of sippy cups (discreetly take them to another room to hide them after they come out of the dishwasher so we can get rid of them later) from the house has me feeling nostalgic. I looked around this morning and realized that technically we have two toddlers now. We have settled into nap routines and meal times and there is an easy, predictable flow to our day.
Are we really leaving the baby stage behind? It seemed so permanent just a few months ago. I've had babies in the house for a long time. 8 years, actually. I don't even know what to think about the possibility of No Babies. It is nearly inconceivable to me. I'm pretty sure I thought Oliver would be a baby for always. He's so tiny and cute, I thought I would just be carrying him around like a little monkey clinging to me for the rest of my life.
Time passes by so quickly now. I only have time to stop every few months and marvel at how it's already midsummer when it was just Christmas yesterday.
One day we were eating with my in-laws and my mother-in-law said, "The last thing I rememeber..." And I don't know what I thought she was going to say, but I wasn't expecting: "... I was 32."
I laughed so hard. One of those really good, loud, open-mouthed, from the belly laughs. My mother-in-law is almost 60. I'm pretty sure whatever happened to her is happening to me too. I started this post thinking about one thing and I went off on a tangent about babies (or lack thereof) and nearly had a panic attack at the realization that my kids are growing up.
But what I was thinking about that somehow started all of this was how easy it is to miss life's really beautiful moments when you have a big family, or when you are just plain busy. There is a near constant flurry of noise and activity and mess. It's easy to only see the chaos and stress and not the underlying beauty. It's like when you go into your kids rooms at night while they're sleeping and you look at them, so calm and peaceful in their beds, and you think about what awesome little people they are and how much you love their little quirks, but an hour ago you were wrestling your 3 year old to bed and someone was screaming for water down the hall and someone else got up to announce they had to pee and OMG DOES IT NEVER END.
It's easy to look back and see the beauty, but sometimes it is so hard to see it in the day-to-day mundane of motherhood. Or as my Mom-in-law likes to call it, "In the trenches."
With both of the babies being 1 now and everybody growing up a little, I feel like I have been catching a little more of those fleeting and beautiful moments. The other night, I grabbed my book and sat down on the couch while Husband was reading to the kids. I flipped it open and read a few pages before looking up. The oldest three kiddos were lounging around me, quietly listening to the story (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland), sucking on fingers, or looking at other books. Both babies were already asleep. And I thought: Holy crap, I need to record this. I didn't, but I tried to commit the moment of peace and contentedness to memory.
People think we are a little crazy when they see us all out together. But this is what it's all about, folks.
When I look back on this past year, I don't think about how hard it was, how many tears I cried in the shower, hiding from sight. I remember those things, but they were all just stepping stones to here and now, and what I think about is moments like this and how blessed I am.
God saw me, even when I refused to see Him. He gave me more than I deserve and more than I would have asked for, but, it turns out, exactly what I needed, and even more than I could have hoped for.
"For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?
But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it."