The girls and Mark were already up and at ‘em. I wandered down the hall toward the sound of voices, listening to my children chatter to each other in that happy, loving way they do in the morning.
Walking into the living room, I spied them in the corner. They were already wearing their princess dresses and tucking a couple of dolls into a miniature stroller.
“Good morning, sweeties,” I said.
“MOMMY!” came their happy reply. I bent down and hugged them – first Peanut and then Loaf.
Peanut turned to resume playing, but Loaf stepped back pointing her tiny finger toward the center of my chest.
“You my friend!” she said enthusiastically.
“Aww, of course I am,” I answered. “I love you.”
“Yeah,” she said, leaning in to rest her head against the spot to which she’d just pointed. “Love you too, friend.”
I sat back on the floor and cradled her body against mine, feeling her warmth, smelling the sweet smell of shampoo lingering in her hair, and listening to her breaths rise and fall in her chest.
“This is the best ‘good morning’ I could hope for,” I told her. “This makes Mommy so happy.”
“Loaf happy too.”
We sat like that, she and I, for only a few seconds before the spell was broken by the promise of breakfast (“Mommy make waffles please?”), but it is one of those moments that will stay with me for the rest of my life.
There are times when parenting is maddening beyond belief – when the tantrums come on long and strong, when all manners are forgotten, when I find myself yelling out of control and wondering if anything I’m doing or saying is getting through to my children. Those are the times I question my ability to raise calm, successful adults and fear I am failing at my most important job.
Thank God for the random, quiet moments like this morning, for it is in them that I feel most like a mother – when nothing else matters and I can sit for a moment and realize that someone small may be listening after all.