there i stand, leaning against the wall after both girls were nestled in their cozy beds for the night.  i began to stare a hole through my boy while my body lay slanted against the corner of the wall.  all while trying not to be seen.  i always do this to my children.  i take in a huge, meaningful, blank stare.  i stare at their hearts, i study their expression, i envision little glimpses of their future.  i swallow lumps in my throat as i try to process the amount of love that is flooding in my very heart in that very moment-but i can not, it’s far to much.  it’s always one of my favorite moments when i get lost in a stare.  and the feeling is often times a bit overwhelming i love them so.

but tonight, my stare got interrupted.  brother gets to stay up thirty minutes later than the girls.  and he totally loves this little, i’m-the-oldest-and-get-to-stay-up-the-latest nightly ritual.  and tonight, he felt my stare, and questioned me, “mommy, why are you looking at me like that?”. 

slightly embarrassed while my thoughts were interrupted, i say, “mommy is just crazy about you, that’s all.”.  and he matter-of-factly states, “and you love me so so much, don’t you?”. 

“sooooooooooooooooooo much!”, i emphasize, while feeling proud that he knows just how much he is loved. 

and i didn’t even try to hold back that tear.  it needed to release itself.  because truth is, i am so in love right now with my husband and children that it hurts so good.  the love i possess for my little family drives me to pursue becoming a better person, while simultaneously staying exactly who i am.  it’s the freeest, liberating, safest love.  what a nice treat in this one blessed life to love this much.

people ask me all the time if i’m going to have more children.  and i always answer differently depending on the week.  and mostly, i say, “my quiver is full!”.  i feel like i’m so content, blessed, and my patience is totally maxed out.  i like the mommy that i measure up to most days.  i often times feel that adding one more in the mix might take away that specific mommy that i like to be.  and being calm, patient, positive, and consistent gets harder with each child.  and being all those things to my babies is desperately important to me.  and three?  three i can handle.  well, most days.

i love that when i do get loud, they flip out.  it isn’t normal to them.  i’m glad for this.  but when i do bark at them, and i watch the way they receive it, it does a number on me.  i immediately feel like a failure.  and quite honestly, i like the pressure i feel in this area.  it’s motivation to not let it happen again for a very, very long time.  i would say ever, but lets be honest here.  it’s going to happen again.  and again. 

like yesterday, nathan was playing with mary and he accidentally hurt her, and she does the lose-your-breath-then-loud-scream-follows kind of cry.  i instinctively charge in there, assuming it was on purpose, while yelling, “WHAT DID YOU DO TO HER!!”, with my mama-bear claws out because my baby was hurt.  nathan sensed the intensity of my tone and the anger in my heart.

and that was enough to break his heart.  the strength of my tone broke his spirit, which in turn broke mine.  which just makes me not ever want to yell again.  and i try like hell not to.  and most days, i succeed.  but i am human.

and i will be the first to have a conversation with my child that looks like this: “nathan, i know you were not hurting her on purpose.  i should have talked softly at you.  mommy was wrong for talking unkind.  i am very sorry.  i love you and you are the best big brother ever!!”

with a half-smile, half-sniffle, he assures me, “i forgive you, mommy…no worries.”. 

yes, i am hard on myself.  and maybe i shouldn’t be, but i kind of like holding myself accountable to certain mothering standards. 

i truly believe that patience is among one of life’s greatest treasures.  patience encourages perseverance, diligence, long-suffering, and tolerance.  so when i think about obtaining a certain amount and degree of patience, i give it every thing i have. 

because even a happy life has it’s corners of darkness.  and truthfully, even an overflow of good and happy would lose it’s luster if there weren’t any sorrow or sadness to give it balance and perspective.   i’m never hoping for sadness, but exercising my composure and strength in those times has never served to fail me. 

i totally set out tonight to write about other things, but heart writing took dominion.  and that is a battle i never feel the need to fight. 

heart writing.  soul cleansing. 

oh how i love to love really big.  and fierce. 

they are worth every last drop of my patience.


with a heart filled to the brim,
pause button please!


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