Right now – I should be doing the dishes. I should be hanging the clothes that have decorated my love seat for far too many days. I should be sweeping my floors and picking up toys and a million other things I could think of that would be more productive.
Instead I sit quietly in the corner of a room I spent countless hours decorating. The room is mostly dark cut in two by the faint light of the hallway. Shadows dance on the face I can’t bear to put down. Her chest rises and falls as she melts into my arms. She is asleep- peaceful and content. Yet my arms refuse to lay her in her bed. She ministers to my soul. She giggles in her sleep. She sighs and settles yet again into my chest.
I could be doing my bible study right now. But I’m not convinced it would bring me any closer to my creator than I feel right now. Tears stream down my face as I am once again in awe of his creation. I am in awe of his choice to once again bestow on me the blessing of raising one of his children. My daughter – who has already been a blessing to so many in the few short weeks since her arrival into this earth. She is mine, yes, but she was and is His first.
The bed creaks from the next room where two strong-willed boys dream of rocks and swords and superheroes and things that only boys can fathom. Those boys I prayed for. The boys I begged God for when it thought he might choose to only give me girls. The boys I pray turn into men of God who know how to stand strong and be compassionate at the same time. The boys who call “moooommmmyyyy” like only they can. The older one so sure of himself until it comes time to say goodbye to mommy. The younger who tests his boundaries just to come crying back to me when his ideas don’t turn out quite the way he planned.
My oldest sleeps to my left. Such a hard sleeper, she couldn’t be woken if the world depended on it. She rests covered completely in mounds of fabric that have only been made neatly into a bed once – the day the sheets were changed. Before she was born, every bed in my home was made. The laundry never sat for more than a couple hours in a laundry basket, much less strewn all over the living room. Floors were swept daily, bathrooms sparkling and every little thing had it’s place. So proud I was to have a neat and tidy house. Such was the measuring stick I compared myself to daily to see where I stood.
Five years later- I choose to leave the laundry. It will keep. I will sleep tonight with a sink full of dirty dishes. The laundry- I’m pretty sure it will be years before that gets caught up. But my heart tonight is overwhelmed – overwhelmed and spilling hot tears all down my face. Never have I rocked my babies to sleep as frequently as this child. The sleep training books all warn against it- and in my desire to do what was “right” and “best” for my child, I laid them in the crib and walked away.
But this night, I sit and stare at the fluttering eyelashes, the button nose and the pink lips. Thoughts of my babies fill my head and wash away the challenges of the day.
The steady breathing of tiny lungs cover the remembrance of cries that just couldn’t be quieted. My friend reminded me of this poem today and it sums up my attitude quite well.

“The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow,
But children grow up, as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs; Dust go to sleep!
I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.”

~ Ruth Hulbert Hamilton

Goodnight all. Don’t forget to count your blessings!

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