If you know my girls, or have at least met them, you know their energy abounds. Multiple times people have commented that their energy is unmatched to any toddler girls they’ve known. Others comment that they are like little boys, except not (?). Both moms insist their kids were nothing like ours in the way of energy.
ARE YOU CATCHING MY DRIFT?
There were moments this week in Portland, with my dear dear parents, where I wanted to just pull my hair out because OH!MY!GOSH!!! THE ENERGY!!! IN A CITY!!
A glimpse, if you will:
And so in this new normal of ours I pray. A lot. Nothing profound. Mostly, “help. please.” And you know, energy, guidance, GRACE, and more energy. Yes mom, I WILL look into taking iron supplements as well.
But today, today was grace.
Somehow everything lined up so the girls were playing together, coloring on paper and dressing in purple skirts, and I managed to sit down with coffee and a book that I pretended to read in high school. Except I SO DIDN’T. On Josiah and Renee’s bookshelf (friends we’re staying with) I found Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Faith in Community by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and having just experienced incredible community but now not-so-much-because-we-moved, I thought, sure. Let’s give it a go again.
And oh boy howdy is it all sorts of good and convicting and encouraging.
But this post is not about that.
I snuggled under a flannel blanket with this book and my coffee and then the three year old came over to me with a book in hand and asked if she could snuggle…. RIGHT?!! So great. So we snuggled and I loved every second so much I thought maybe I’d burst. After a while Claire awoke from her nap and I decided, Let’s get lunch started.
Let’s get lunch started might as well have been the equivalent to pushing the crazy button because get ready for the next forty minutes of my day:
Still in my dreamy mood, I notice some cucumber fresh from the garden on the counter and think YES. Clearly it is a cucumber, olive, and feta cheese salad day and OBVIOUSLY the girls will love a few bites of cucumber while I make mac and cheese.
Except in Ellie’s excitement to eat Larry the Cucumber, she wasn’t able to distinguish taste from character and said of the personified vegetable, “Larry the Cucumber isn’t very nice.” And Claire just went ahead and threw hers on the ground. Which is fine because I didn’t have high expectations and hey, we tried right?
Macaroni and cheese is served and for THREE MINUTES all that is noise is the sound of munchy cheeks and happy bellies. When I looked up from fantasyland after tweeting about my delicious lunch and saw the beginnings of macaroni and cheese head. Claire was in the process of scooping her saucy spoon onto her head and rubbing the sauce around in her hair, while Ellie was sticking noodles up her nose. Sure.
All pau! I announce and begin the clean up. Claire is made to pick up her mess on the floor and Ellie, ever the charmer, puts both bowls in the sink. Knowing naptime is soon, I let the girls go outside so I can tend to my feta. Olive in mouth, and the scream is so curdling I honestly thought she broke something. Outside in seconds to find an Ellie on the grass clutching her foot wailing as if death is upon her all because she fell and scratched her foot a bit. MOMMY KISS IT! KISSSSSS ITTTTTTT!!!!!!!! I kiss. MOMMY HUUUUUUUG MEEEEEEEE!!!!!! I hug. MOMMY CAN YOU HOOOOOLD ME!!!!!????? I hold. Of course I hold. Best part of being a mom.
I let her know that she’s ok, that it’s a scratch and that she’s doing a good job of playing hard. She dusts herself off and heads to the potty. Meanwhile, Claire’s macaroni head is killing me so I grabbed the phone and documented the crazy (she’s nearly edible).
Minutes go by and El is still gone so we head inside and I check on her in the bathroom.
Toilet paper is wrapped around her foot like an ace bandage and El says, “I was hurt VERY Badly. I fell down because I was playing very hard.” Snap snap!
Leaving Claire and El in the bathroom for a few seconds, I go to grab… something? I don’t know. And then the toilet bowl starts singing to me in splashes and swirling.
Claire somehow, in a few seconds, discovered my razor and proceeded to swish it around the toilet, both hands in.
And then I just had to take another picture.
At that time I decided a bath was in order and put the girls in to soak.
And then I laughed. A lot.
And gave thanks. For cucumbers and messy heads and three year old drama and cups of coffee and messy floors and makeshift bandages. Because this is life and it’s messy and SO NOT glamorous and when I put the book down about community and Christ and how it is only through Christ that Christians are bound together, and how it’s grace and then wipe messy faces a billion times and pick up crayons and think about how theology and real life intersect and how it really does go together but sometimes it’s hard to fit macaroni up the nose with writing by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Then… when the girls go down… I picked up the book again and read this (the context is about community and thankfulness in community, but it fits today too):
We do not complain of what God does not give us; we rather thank God for what He does give daily…
Only he who gives thanks for little things receives the big things. We prevent God from giving us the great spiritual gifts He has in store for us, because we do not give thanks for daily gifts.
It goes on and there’s more, but I am thankful for the grace to laugh and thank God for these treasures in energetic little girls who have a lifetime of chaos and beauty ahead of them.
In this season I am learning of daily bread and provision in all things. And I’m really really thankful.