sleepy faces, bed heads, and whatever toy weapons they've chosen to bear that day.
They peak over the mattress with such excited hope, "is she awake, momma?"
And I am so glad we don't have to rush into the day. I'm thankful we have time to
stroke the baby's hair, cuddle under layers of cream and white covers, and chat about whether
we should have maple-cinnamon toast or oatmeal with apples for breakfast. Luxury.
They all smell of childhood, and I just breathe them in. Stay longer. Stay closer.
Let me hold you until my heart is content. Which will be: never.
Brothers and a sister. My Judah trembles and tells me, "I just love her so much!"
He loves so fiercely - he can't even stand it. They ask if they can "eat her cheeks" because
they are just so good. This goes on for hours - all day - the gift of siblings being unwrapped
and unwrapped and unwrapped in all its intended goodness.
I love that we can all be together.
Thankful that God has so allowed this season of our lives to be graced with me being home with
our kids, homeschooling. We take the days slowly, quietly, mostly unseen by the world - drinking
our decaf with cream in the mornings, playing, learning, snuggling, resting the days away.
Don't get me wrong. For the most part it's all peaches 'n cream, but I guess a more honest
representation would read: "playing, ARUGING, learning, WHINING, snuggling, CRYING,
resting the day away, PRAYING FOR DADDY TO COME HOME ASAP."
But that just didn't seem to flow as well. Ha!
When Nathan and I first started dating, I asked him if he would always be ok if I wanted to
use my hard-earned, very expensive, private college degree to stay home and use it in the best
way my heart saw possible... to raise and teach and be present to our children in the same
way my own mom was to me.
It's a good thing he gave an emphatic "yes" - or where would we be today?!
I am the honored witness of friendships being forged; the foundation of what will hopefully
be lifelong, irreplaceable relationships. Yes, God chose me to be their mother, but He also chose
these siblings for each other. It makes me laugh to envision the grand scheme of it all - these crazy
kids - iron sharpening iron! They will know, test, refine, and form each other like no one else can.
Often I think of how deeply my boys love each other. About how they tell people they are twins
and cry at the very idea of being separated for even the shortest amount of time. If I am leaving the
house they anxiously ask if I am taking the baby with me - because "Mom, we like her. Please leave her
here with us." It's a beautiful thing.
Bella's days are filled with big brother kisses, cheek squishes, and all the "oooo-ing and ahhhhh-ing"
a baby could want. The boys make her smile more quickly and easily than anyone else. They dote,
and she lights up. All the while, momma is just melting into a puddle on the other side of the room.
Don't mind me.
The belly laughs, the bear hugs, the crocodile tears when limits are pushed - the sparkling smiles,
the pretty pleases, the blueberry eyes, the chocolate eyes, full of questions, answers, and child-like
wonder - the tiny hands, smelly feet, batting eyelashes begging again and again... for a snack. Sigh.
This is the story of my life - the story of children - the story of brothers and sisters.
Cliché of all clichés, it is such a gift - this gift of siblings. And I just want to laugh,
and happy scream, and ugly-momma-cry it out for all the world to know.
Now I want to go hug my own sisters and brother.
Thanks, mom and dad, for the gift.