Some days I think I am an expert, "I can handle this gig" kind of mom, and then there are days when I wonder if I will survive (or rather if my children will survive) to see another day. Yesterday was just kind of average, but certainly had some of those high-stress, "Oops, I said that a few decibels too loudly" kind of moments. On days like that, naptime becomes sacred recovery ground for this Mommy. And when naptime ends sooner than I think it should, well, that's not a good thing.
So yesterday, Hannah wakes up way too early from her nap, for no apparent reason. After resigning myself to the fact that she was not going to calm down or go back to sleep, I sigh and go into her room and pick her up from her crib. We get her blankie and sit down in the rocking chair to cuddle for a minute before I go back to what I was doing. After a few rocks, I realize, "Hmmm...she's not moving much...she's making that sound with her mouth that she makes when she's going to sleep...I think this little darling is asleep again!" Now, this is my child who has never been much of a cuddler--at least not for any length of time--and has never really liked to be rocked that much. So when I get the rare privilege of getting to hold her and rock her while she sleeps, I know it is a direct gift from the hand of God, and I have to take advantage of it. So I make myself forget how much more I still have on my to do list for the day, take a deep breath, and sit and think to myself, okay, we will ALL live through this day after all...and just because Hannah flung her plate off of her high chair at lunch, promptly spreading carrots, ketchup and mustard from here to kingdom come on my floors that had been thoroughly cleaned the day before...she really can be sweet...and I will survive this day and the ones to come...and...and...and then I'm dozing!! Wow! God is good! I not only get some precious rocking time with my little girl, I get a little nap in the process!! We stayed that way for about 45 minutes and both woke up better for it!
The icing on the cake came after I had the kids bathed and dressed in their pajamas and was ready to read to Hannah from her Bible story book and put her to bed. Sometimes Benjamin will come in and stand by my chair and listen in on Hannah's bedtime story. But last night, he walked in and said, "Can I sit in your lap, too?" Like I'm going to say "no???" So he crawls up in my lap, and I read to both of them, my arms wrapped around my two babies, savoring the moment. We finished the story, and because I didn't want to put them down just yet, I started singing "Jesus Loves Me." Benjamin and Hannah promptly joined in to sing with me, and if hearing a 3 1/2 year old and a 21-month-old sing "Jesus Loves Me" doesn't just melt your heart, I don't know what does.
It is at moments like that when I am reminded that being a mommy is the best job in the world, hands down, and I would never trade it for any amount of money, not matter how many times I have to clean smooshed carrots and ketchup off my floors.
"My cup runneth over."