Just Delight

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"I'm a good mom, I'm a patient mom."

I write it down through sleepy eyes and repeat it out loud because I read somewhere that speaking it will make it come true.

I feel like a morning journalling robot. 

I just want to check Facebook.

Is this the best I can do?

I toss the notebook to the bedside table and it falls under the bed with all my wishes to be a better parent.

I need to revise my goals.  

What's the only thing better than patience and goodness and dedicated journaling?  

Just down the list from 'a good night's sleep', 'dark chocolate' and 'dad's home':

Delight. 

I meet my daughter's eyes from the kitchen counter as she squishes her lunch around her tray. She squints and tilts her chin up as her cheeks smoosh together, I smile like we haven't seen each other in years. Or like we haven't been apart for more than two hours since she was born.

Delight.

I run my son his favorite bath - pink food coloring and Barbie bubbles.  Yes, the bubbles might be toxic and we got them from the thrift store.  They smell like the bubblegum fluoride from the dentist when I was a kid. They're the best.

We go to the library. 
Look at all these books, mom!  
We find a penny on the ground. 
Look at this quarter, mom!


His sister learns to use a fork. Her eyes are big.
Later she practices going down the stairs holding my hand. She's so proud and so alive even when she trips on a stair or the muffin falls off her fork again and again. Could I ever be so happy to learn something new while getting it so wrong?

I wasn't born a parent; I'm learning to be one.  Still I find myself dismayed over how many times the metaphorical muffin falls off my mothering fork.  Everyone seems to have the hang of this!  It's just a fork. How hard can it be?  It makes me want to throw everything to the floor, which I guess my baby does too, sometimes.  Everything must go - the fork, the sippy cup and all the food, right onto the poor dog's head.  

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At night when the floor is scrubbed clean and everyone is washed, brother gives baby sister a goodnight kiss on the head. Her cheeks grow round with joy.  

Delighted.

She smiles and presses her face into his. Something must be working.  

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Let me stop praying for grace in the morning and counting my impatiences at night.   
Let me love this baby and this boy and their mom, (yes- me!) exactly as we are. 











Reading

Published on Coffee + Crumbs

We’re in bed at 3pm — with a fuzzy grey blanket fresh out the dryer around us. And a stack of books.
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This is the cure for 'nothing,' for a day when the radio in my head only broadcasts the same message, a tired tornado warning: Today you did nothing. You don't do anything. Why are you so exhausted?
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So we read together, the window open, blowing in a fresh breeze from the water and the sounds of cars driving to picnics and chickens pecking in the yard.
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Toddler moves his little chubby hand up and down my arm. He rests his head on me. The sound of my voice is putting me to sleep.
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This is a melody. This song is drowning out the relentless radio station in my head and replacing it with a new one: you matter, Mama.
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You are everything, this is everything, this is what matters.
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I read because I want him to love reading. I read because I want to talk to him but I don't know what to say. I read because I'm not a good play-er with toys. I don't do the blocks and I'm bad at catch and the trains just stress me out because there are so many pieces I’ll have to clean up and I leave him to his own imagination.
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But not here, here we get to imagine together.
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I do the sound effects, I can do voices. His little face is rapt attention, his three year old boy body, normally vibrating with the excitement of growing up, is relaxed.
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I read because it shuts off the radio and tunes us in to each other instead.