I had just been through a stressful quarter of an hour with the toddler boys. The girls had set up a restaurant in their play room, and they had added to the stress by asking several times if I would come be a guest. I couldn't right then. Eventually, the stress settled down. I took a few minutes to find some sanity by building a hot and short little paper fire. Fire can be hypnotic, and I pondered as I alternately snuggled and wrestled my fledgling toddler how fleeting these days can be. I thought about how sometimes I think longingly about a time when I will not be responsible for an infant 24/7. Oh, the freedom! Then I think that I will no longer have a small person to snuggle. Oh, the loneliness! I thought how some days are so frustrating, and some are so rewarding. I thought about how these can even be a matter of moments apart, not days.
Almost on cue, Kandy came up to remind me about the restaurant. Ready to placate them, I asked if I could bring my baby. She said I could, and I said, "I'll be right there." I started to get up, and I heard her run downstairs, calling to Missy: "Get ready! We have a very special guest coming!"
I dined on plastic jacks and imaginary Sprite. Kandy took my order, Missy prepared the plate, Buster kept my cup full, and Sunny cleaned up the dishes. As I left to endure the rigors of bedtime, I heard Kandy singing about their very special guest.
Somehow, for just a moment, all of the stress and frustration was so worth it. I may have to be an ogress sometimes to get results, but I am still a very special guest in their eyes. How humbling. I often think I really should play with them more. I spend so much time cooking, cleaning, and meeting basic needs that I feel there is not enough time. As I did dishes after dinner, I considered the story of Mary and Martha.
I really should try harder to find balance between enjoying my children and meeting their needs.