The house is quiet tonight.
I can't remember the last time I sat on the couch, quiet, breathing, pausing with eyes shut just for a moment. Aware of all of the Christmas glow that surrounds me - a lovely lit tree, candles flicker in the Advent wreath, the lights in the kitchen, shine dimly over crafts and crumbs.
It is late, and I am alone. The boys had a chance to go swimming with some friends, so as a spontaneous surprise, we let them go, daddy graciously took them. They were wild with delight. I can only image how quickly they will collapse into happy slumber once they arrive home. While I wait, I will write.
Blogging is such a random, irregular side gig. Maybe it's a hobby. Maybe it's not even that. Truth be told, sometimes I don't know why I do it, other than to have a virtual scrapbook that my family can follow. Or, maybe it's a little comforting crutch that I can run to when I'm feeling bad about how I'm doing as a mom. I can scroll through pictures of my kids smiling, content, learning, growing, sharing, giving, excelling and then exhale. Okay. We're doing okay. Oh, the things we (I) fret over.....
I can only assume that my approach to blogging is much the same as most busy moms - we upload pictures while brushing our teeth or paying a bill. The script is written late at night or early in the morning, because there's no time during the day - and if we sneak in a daytime post, it's usually full of typos or run on sentences that make little sense, or worst of all the twinges of guilt creep in because the dishes are piled up, boxing boys need an intervention, or someone is looking at you, just waiting to be read to - again - for the 5th time that day. Guilt kicks in. Guilt wins. Guilt reminds us that blogs will never be as important as reading to your kids.
So, here I am, it's night, it's quiet. I'm going to blog. I dug out my tattered green spiral notebook that is filed with grocery lists, reminders, math equations, phone numbers, book titles and even a few scribbles on topics I'd like to blog about. But, for tonight, those topics are best left beneath the weight of coffee drips and finger paint prints, the only topic my heart can consider right now is one of compassion for the families of Connecticut who are enduring an unimaginably deep and heavy suffering.
We can share our compassion with those families by praying for them. But, we HONOR them by pausing from our duties, saying "no" once in a while to things that keep us away from home and by acknowledging those things which we are often so preoccupied with that we miss opportunities to be with and to love our children.
EVERY MOMENT WITH OUR CHILDREN IS PRECIOUS. EVERY MOMENT A GIFT.
Read them an extra story tonight.
Sit and watch them play.
Listen to their stories as if it's the first time you've heard it.
Let them eat dessert, even if they never touch a veggie.
Teach them a song.
Play a game together.
Hug them a hundred times.
Tell them they're special.
Give up the goodies and give them yourself.
Take a walk together.
Look them in the eyes when they walk in the room ~ tell them you're happy to see them.
Let them help you make dinner.
Stare at their freckles, brush their hair, tickle their toes.
Never, ever take for granted the sound of them calling your name.
Praise God for every moment you get to hold them and say to them, " I love you."
NO ONE KNOWS WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS,
SO MAKE THE PRESENT COUNT.