I never want to forget nights like tonight, where I feel an electricity of affection for my children. Sometimes for no reason whatsoever, I just have to squeeze my children just a little too hard. My boys happen to be the hearty type and the older they get, the more deliciously squeezable they become. If you’re around me and my kids for any length of time, odds are I will have interrupted their play or concentration for untimely kisses, hugs, and all-too-real squeezes. (The way I see it, they are only going to be the miniature version of themselves for a short period of time, and as their mother, I have the right to attack, embarrass, kiss, or envelope them at will.) I haven’t exactly been the portrait of positivity this season, and it feels good to experience surges of sheer joy as we near the end of winter’s dreariness. We threw piano lessons into the juggling session last week, so we now are maxed out on commitments. We still manage to gather around the table a few times a week, but admittedly, we inhale & disappear so quickly there may as well be smoke circling our chairs. Like so many families, we’re still trying to strike a balance:
- How does Dad pursue his passions when they aren’t fed at his job?
- How do I cook healthily without going over budget?
- How do we incorporate music into Jack’s world without one more pressure and obligation?
- How do we make more money?
- How do we live more simply?
- How can we serve as a family?
- How can we actually do family time and also all the other things we want to do?
- What about all those sports Jack could be doing?
- How do we even survive Oliver’s toddler years?
And then there are the even bigger questions:
- How do we raise our children to be honest, Jesus-chasing Christian men?
- How should our faith impact everything down to the dash of cinnamon I use?
- Should we have more children?
- If we care about our children’s education, what do want them to know?
- How do we protect our kids from culture and prepare them to be in it?
It’s probably not a surprise I still find myself whirl-winded by these questions, but what truly helps get me through are nights like tonight where every single imperfect detail about our life seems perfectly in place. Where all I can do is drop my jaw and marvel at the creation of my boys and the God who is so obviously working through every one of our treacherous steps. He has the answer to each of these questions, and occasionally I’ll actually allow the Spirit’s presence to calm me, reminding me that these days of diapers, wrestling, & peek-a-boo are numbered. That Jack’s first loose teeth will soon become a mouth full of braces asking me for the car keys.
So thankful that I get to be with these boys every day. Hopefully, when they’re older, they will remember all of the pinching, tossing, squeezing & kissing they received because their mother couldn’t handle her outrageous affection.