Where to begin. . .
Life keeps ticking by, day by day, and amidst laundry and diaper changes and house cleaning, plus much, much more, I consistently find myself recognizing "golden" moments. You know, those times when your children say something simple yet profound, or when they tell you something and you just marvel at their uniqueness and clever way of thinking; those precious moments when you smile from deep within at the simple beauty of raising children because, although you're exhausted and stressed out and a little crazy, the joy and wonder of it all hits you for just a few brief minutes--sometimes even seconds--and you realize once again what a miracle parenthood is. Well, I've had a lot of those moments this summer, and I've thought over and over, I should write about this. I must remember this.
The best thing about these moments is, they're almost imperceptible. In fact, to just anyone, they're not "golden" at all. But to a mother, a person these amazing little creatures spend most of their time with, a person they talk to about anything and everything--the person who has the opportunity of seeing the best and the worst that's within them--well, these moments are priceless because mothers see and feel so much more. Mothers understand that something as simple as a facial expression can feel "golden" when it's just the right expression at just the right time and in just the right way.
Relating these moments to others often leaves the teller feeling disappointed because the person you share it with seldom understands the significance of the moment or why it made your heart smile like it did. Hence, I've learned to simply revel in the moment myself, understanding it has just as much meaning when it's just me that saw or heard or felt it, as it would if many others did.
As the mother of five children ranging in ages from almost twelve to almost four months, experience is teaching me just how significant these moments are, and to never let them go by unnoticed. They can make even the most dismal, grinding day a little brighter, even if only briefly.
Over the past twelve years since I first became a mother, I have learned an incredible amount--about myself, about others, about my husband, about the sacred role I have. My children have taught me everything from how to multi-task and accomplish four roles at once, all while keeping my whits about me, to what it means to really be sorry and sincerely ask for forgiveness. Different seasons of our lives have produced various learning curves, each one meant to sanctify and teach me things I'm certain I could learn in no other way. Through the perspective of each unique child, I have learned to see the world differently. I've learned to laugh at myself and stressful situations; I've learned to bask in the complete reverence and beauty of a sleeping child; I've learned that housework really can wait, but children can't.
Right now I'm learning to take notice of "golden" moments and bask in them. They are one of the perks of motherhood, and I'm so grateful for them. Holding a small hand while we walk down the sidewalk, kissing the warm cheeks of a sleeping child--then kissing them again, listening to the delightful giggle of a four-year-old, looking into my baby's eyes and feeling she somehow knows me and understands how much I love her, spontaneously laughing when something blows up in your face, listening to the spiritual insight of a small child who seems to know more about Heaven than you do. All of these experiences, and many more, are the thread--the "golden" thread--that make up the fabric of a mother's life. And I'm so grateful for them.
So, how do you do it? How do you sort through the chaos enough to take note of these precious gifts of time? I don't have the magic bullet, but I know for me it simply takes listening. Something I'm honestly not that good at. But when I take the time and energy to really listen, I learn that my children are absolutely amazing! Their insight is priceless, the senses of humor delightful, their unique perspectives worth paying attention to. In short, I find myself thinking over and over again what a miracle these children are in my life and being in utter awe that they are mine.
Golden moments. Just more evidence that true happiness comes from family life. God is so smart!