You know that moment as a mom when your heart breaks for your child and you want to wrap them in your arms and give them the world (or at least whatever their little heart desires). But you know you shouldn't or really, you can't. I experienced that first hand last week and I'm still learning the lessons from it.
I made a mistake. It's nothing new really. I make mistakes all the time. This one affected me in more ways than I thought it would. My heart was heavy when I left, tears flowed freely down my cheeks. She screamed and wailed, she opened the door and climbed into her seat; even started to do her buckles. But I couldn't take her with me where I was going. I couldn't take her even though there were other children there, even some close to her age. I couldn't take her and it broke my heart. It made me want to call the school and tell them I was never coming back. But I didn't. I couldn't. I knew this wouldn't be easy but I'm not a quitter.
Once at work I started to get a grip and I knew when I left that she was in good, caring, strong, loving, capable hands. But my heart still felt heavy. I still doubted whether my working outside the home was a good idea. I was encouraged by seasoned mothers that "being a mom is really tough". They didn't try to candy coat the situation. They reassured that this is a season in life and things will change. I realize that Hannah won't remember this day like I will. I realize that when she's five she probably won't remember when I stayed at home with her all day and when I started to work at the school. I realize that it's a good opportunity for her to learn from other people as well, and to allow other people to bless our family by caring for our children. I realize all that but the screaming and the tears and the "I want to sleep at daddy's house" still hold tight on my heart and make me wonder.
But now that I'm 6 weeks into my first "real" job in six years I wonder what I would be like without all of THOSE kids. Those kids who draw me pictures, cut out hearts for me, give me a hard time about doing homework, give me hugs for no reason. What would I do without them? They are a part of my new normal and I know I would miss them (maybe not all their behaviors) if I didn't go back every day. It's incredible to watch these kids interact with one another (albeit sometimes too roughly) and to watch them grow. It's so much fun to see my own kids play with their friends and use their imaginations. I realized that I really do like my job and that it truly is a huge blessing in more ways than one. Sure, it's not my DREAM job but it's the perfect job for me at this time in my life and the life of my family. God is good and although it's hard for me to leave my baby girls everyday I cherish the time I have with them in the mornings even more. And I love coming home to them and seeing their faces light up. One comes running and the other crawls over and lifts her hands up for me to pick her up...those are the moments that I treasure. I know that those are the moments that I'm REALLY going to miss in a few short years.
I wanted to make sure to remind my future self that those moments of babies climbing all over me, may annoy me now when I just need some personal space, but all too soon they will probably be running the other way. That when the screaming toddler who loves to say "no" and throw fits becomes a teenager who perfects the eye rolling to a T that once she unashamedly ran into my arms and kissed my neck. That the boy who will go through changes I will never understand loved for me to just scratch his back and hug him close. That the girl who will be a teenager before I am ready to admit it just wants to be noticed and know she is loved. That the baby who is learning to stand on her own two feet will soon be standing in school hallways. These moments go too fast. These days fly by. These moments are treasured. When at the end of hard day my kids can be found sitting on the couch reading books together, my heart is full. When a headache knocks me down for three days and my sweet girl tells me shes praying for me, these are the moment that are treasured. When my baby girl makes kissing noises and laughs at her siblings, these are the moments that are treasured.
God blesses us with these moments, these grace filled moments. For the days are hard but grace abounds. For the days the patience is short and the temper is fueled, grace abounds. For the days the tv is on and the attention is elsewhere, grace abounds. For the days are filled with moments to treasure and moments to forget but these moments make us who we are. And God's grace gives us something to stand on. To try again. To do better. But to know it's not up to us. It's a gift, free and clear. Grace for the moments when being a mom is really tough. Grace for the moments that I don't want to forget and those that I do.