Why I Haven’t Learned French Yet (well… part of it anyway)

The day started earlier than I had hoped, with less sleep than I needed to precede it. And the whining has begun already – before the coffee, before the centering – before even the thought of centering.

And she is eating Halloween candy before 9am and he is diaper-only because of spilled milk and the coffee is lukewarm and half full. And Doc McStuffins commands more respect than I do so she will probably make an appearance before too long.

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So these little people are a lot. And sometimes they are too much.

But when I chance-glanced the cheap and pretty little journal I designated for my 1,000 Gifts Challenge I was holding a tamed monster with big, tired eyes and I had to leave the room to cry out thanks for the precious little boy I didn’t know I wanted.

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I also didn’t know how hard it would be to do things like read a book or write a novel or learn a language or drink your coffee while it’s hot when you have tiny humans tugging at your legs. And some people make it happen anyway. I admire those people, but right now I end up binge-watching Revenge when I get a few free seconds because all those other things seem really wonderful for a time when I’m not just.spent.

But these creatures who can make living so damn hard also just make it.

Because when I tell them that they are my heart I am lacking words to express just that.

“You are my heart, too, Mommy.”

Yesterday we went to a modest little amusement park and after all the runningclimbingridingsquealing she chose the brightly painted bike racks to marvel and explore on our way out. Telling her to hurry wasn’t cutting it so I pulled out her whole name, quick and loud and punctuated with “now.” But she came and I realized there was no reason for a rush. I was motivated by my own weariness and a desire to be in the back seat of the car with finally-sleeping children.

“I’m sorry, sweetheart. Mommy is being cranky.”

She didn’t milk it, but she met it, “It’s okay, Mom. I forgive you. I’m sorry for not listening.”

Really? I mean… Really? …that grace smells familiar. Jesus in a three year old.

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Sometimes it feels overwhelming, this work. Because it is work. And sometimes you wonder why you can’t wait for another one to join the circus. But then you get little glimpses of Oh Yeah and your tired spirit sighs out confirmation that these rough days? These are days of beauty and meaning and one-day-you’ll-miss-this. These are days women pray for. Days we imagined as little girls. We didn’t know all the frustration they would include, but we didn’t know about all the yummy extras either.

Like the way she’d wrap your belt round her waist and say, “I’m just going to be like you, Mom.” Or how he would hug his little arms tight around your neck when you bent down for something else.

So we get tired and worn out and Chinese Water Torture has nothing on the whines of persistent children. But we’re here because our hearts need us with or without a full cup of coffee and in addition to Doc McStuffins.

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