I'm so looking forward to Liam's party this weekend. I'm looking forward to the chaos that is the Craig family, the hustle and bustle of prepping for the party, the late night Matt and his dad are going to have putting together Liam's first train table, the look in his eyes when he sees his first train table, the screaming kids, the messy house, everything. I want to relish in it all. Because the truth is, it's a gift. It won't always be like this. And I am so so grateful that God's grace has allowed me to experience all of this.
I'm thankful and excited to see little Morgie play teacher with the younger kids. She is so patient with their short attention span, and they love her so much. I'm anxious to see Tay bossing the others around, and watching Liam slowly but surely assert himself in each situation. I'm happy for it all.
Reading a blog from one of my more "experienced" mom's, she has grown children and a houseful of grandchildren, she writes:
Early morning, hours before sun-up, I sit quiet in the dark. The house is completely still.
Cradling my coffee, an involuntary smile tugs at my lips while tears blur my vision.
In my minds-eye, I replay the chaos from the night before.
The blissful chaos.
It’s Sunday-Supper. And this Sunday, (with the exception of one), all of our precious children file in to spend a couple of hours together.
We crowd in around the dinning room table, babies and all, the adults trying to carry on conversations over little girls who are getting louder and louder by the minute.
My son Timothy who has no children, looks at me smiling,
“Once babies learn to talk they never stop…they just love to hear themselves don’t they?”
We pause to listen …
One tiny girl is telling Pop Pop in her loudest voice that he has to make an her ice cream sundae for dessert, two tiny girls are banging high-chairs demanding “more, more, more” and Baby Finley is crawling around on the floor saying “Daddy, Daddy, Daddy” at the top of her lungs.
I burst out laughing, reach for Timothy’s hand and give it a squeeze, we share joy in the sacred moment.
Later, I find the four I birthed, those three little girls all grown and my one and only boy, laughing in the kitchen cleaning dirty dishes.
Eavesdropping, I hear…
“I think Mom made spaghetti three or four times a week when we were little.” Timothy, laughs.
“I hate spaghetti to this day.” Emma chimes in.
“Remember the huge bags of bargain Kroger brand cereal we ate? Dad put it in big tupperware containers so we thought it was the real stuff.”
I march in and tell them they are absolutely exaggerating.
“Those were good times…” someone says.
And we laugh some more at the memories.
Memories…the stuff life is made of.
And we’re making them now.
I know too well that these times when we’re all together won’t last forever.
Nothing lasts forever.
When I was their age, I took for it for granted, those family get-togethers.
The times we laughed at my little brother David for putting up his Christmas tree in late October.
The times we relived memories of when my sister, brother and I were growing up.
I rested in those times, not giving them the weight of importance they deserved. I mistakenly thought that nothing ever changes.
But in a blink my little brother was gone, taken home before we were ready to let him go.
And everything changed.
Then suddenly Mama went home.
And everything changed again.
The lesson I think, is best summed up the way my dad signs every card-every email…
Hard lesson to learn. But once it’s learned, it’s not so hard to embrace.
So I live the moments full.
Because I know we aren’t promised another.
And right now, in the stillness of before dawn, I give thanks for the time spent in a torrential downpour of grace.
With holidays just around the corner, could I be so bold as to encourage you my sweet friends, to seize every single opportunity to be with those you hold dear?
You can read her blog here.