Today I came home from work. It was sunny and not too cold. My husband was working in the backyard and my daughter was happily covered in dirt. My son ran out to help him. Dinner was effortless – a casserole that I had frozen weeks ago; I popped it in the oven.
I changed my clothes, put on my sneakers, and went outside. I chased my kids. I talked to my husband. We swung on the swings. For the first time, Conlan got the hang of pumping. He was proud. I was happy.
Eventually we all meandered back inside, sat around the table, and ate dinner. Nobody complained. Everyone was happy. We prayed together, talked together, and laughed together. Afterwards Rusty packed up the leftovers for lunch and Conlan declared, “I want to take it for lunch too!” We packed up a serving for him. That was one successful dinner.
Next I quietly nursed, read to, and snuggled my little girl. I put her in her crib and we made faces at each other through the bars, giggling for a good five minutes before I kissed her and left the room.
Conlan was happy and silly all night. At bedtime he read me a book, said his prayers, and went right to bed. I threw a load of laundry in the washer and did some chores. I sat on the couch guilt-free and got some work done.
It was the easiest, most relaxing weeknight in recent memory. As I rocked my daughter in the peace of the evening I thought to myself – why can’t every evening be like this? And as soon as the thought appeared, I realized it was an impossibility. Life doesn’t work like that. People don’t work like that. Kids definitely don’t work like that. So I replaced that thought with a prayer of thanks – thank you for this day. I will be thankful for the restful reprieve in the busy-ness of this season, the gifts of easy moments in this constancy of motherhood. I won’t distract myself from those sweet moments by allowing myself to wish they appeared more often. Instead, I’ll just live in them. I’ll stop wishing for an easier life, and be thankful for the moments of renewal I get.