Monday, November 14, 2005

It's A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Today was a good day. Not because everything went just the way I wanted it to. It certainly didn't. But there were some things that went very right.

I woke up in my usual bleary-eyed fog this morning with an added bonus: crusty eyes. In fact, my three-year-old was quick to notice. "Eww, Mommy, what's on your eyes?" Allergy season is my favorite time of year. Luckily they weren't glued shut, so after I downed a couple of cups of coffee, I could actually see. Brother was being a very good helper and had already made himself and his sister peanut butter and honey sandwiches for breakfast. Bless his little peanut butter-lovin' heart. Once I was able to become mobile we started on morning chores. Brother and Sister got on the ball and did everything they were asked with little to no complaining. In fact, they were almost (dare I say?) happy to do them. Brother has taken on the responsibility of putting the trash out every Monday for the trash men to pick up. He even gathered up the trash cans in the house without me having to remind him!! It was a sight to behold.

We started school and Brother was eager to dig in. He tackled his spelling words zipped through the first half of the reading lesson. Sister was quietly playing as I had asked her to do and was being wonderfully obedient and sweet. I was beginning to think I might have the Monday I've always dreamed of. It was then things took a little dive. Baby was starting to get tired and cranky. Sister began to tire of the activity I gave her and whined for something new. Brother got stuck on a very simple word that I knew he knew. It was all happening at once and I felt myself start to lose control. So I took a break and tried to get Baby down for a nap. I had just started to lay her down when Sister runs into the room yelling "I found the buttons, Mommy!" She had been looking for the box of buttons to string and sort. Of course, Baby is wide awake. So much for that. So I take a moment to vacuum and take down a big box of toys from Baby's closet. I give her the "new" toys and she is happy again. Brother and I look at the word with fresh eyes and attitudes and he gets it quickly. I felt a great sense of fulfillment seeing him push through and not give up. And he did, too.

Once we get through with school it is lunchtime. We eat lunch and work on a few table manners. And I am blown away by Baby, who is more like a toddler in her mannerisms and look. She sits like a big girl at the table and giggles at the other two. She plays peek-a-boo with me by laying her face on the table and then looking up at me with her huge grin that showcases her two bottom teeth. Her cheeks look better than anything I have for lunch and I decide I would much rather nibble on them.

But the most beautiful thing of all was Sister's Potty Breakthrough. I capatilize those words because it is a major event in our lives. She announces to me that she needs to go poop, and actually goes!! No accident in the pants, no holding it in until she can't hold it any was a big poop in the potty!!!! Yes, I am being descriptive because it is a HUGE DEAL! If I were talking instead of typing, I would be yelling and using my hands to demonstrate how very happy I am!! Not only did she do this, but she had no potty accidents at all today. This is a first for us and I think she is feeling quite good about herself as she has been referring to herself as a "Big Girl Helper" all day. Oh, Sweet Lord Jesus, THANK YOU!!!!

Now, that event in itself would have been enough to make me happy and content for months. But it gets better. After lunch all THREE...yes, count them: one, two three...took a NAP at the same time!!!!!!!!!!! I can count on one hand the number of times that has happened. So, do I take advantage of this time and get some work done? Well, no. I made phone calls. It was just so quiet. It seemed like the thing to do. Baby was the first one to wake up after an hour and a half of heavenly silence, but she still seemed sleepy. So I cuddled with her on the couch. I laid down and put her on my chest. The window was open and a glorious fall breeze blew the curtain. The sunlight filtered through the orange and yellow leaves on the trees. And my sweet baby was snuggled up on me. And I had an epiphany.

I know people have used analogies of God being an artist for years. But I am telling you today was a first for me. I saw Creation with new eyes. When I was a freshman in college I went to Washington D.C. with an honor society group. The highlight of the trip was the art exhibits at the Smithsonian. I will never forget standing in front of an original Monet painting and thinking, "Wow! His brush actually made these strokes!!" I liken my experience today to that, but on a much larger scale. See, I know God made everything and I know it is beautiful and He is the Creator. But today, for the very first time, I realized it. I looked at the beauty around me and I knew I was in the presence of Greatness. He made the colorful fall leaves, and shared it with me. He made these sweet, little people and gave them to me to enjoy. I was humbled. I can't even put words to the experience because it sounds trite and cliche. I can only say I am grateful, for all He has given me, because it suddenly seems like too much.

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