Tuesday, October 30, 2012

In the quietness of the night

I wrote this as a quest post on a friends blog a few weeks ago and I really wanted to share it with ya'll. 

When my oldest was a baby I would hold him in my arms and relish in his perfect and innocent little spirit. I would hold him even when I didn’t have too and I would stare into his big brown eyes and think about his spirit so fresh from Heaven. I can remember all these years later how tiny and delicate and magical he was.
In the six years that have followed and with an addition of three more children those moments seem to be so fleeting. There is not a whole lot of time for relishing or staring into big brown eyes. It’s mostly getting up, getting dressed, rushing to and from school, cleaning the house, fixing breakfasts, lunches and dinners, helping with homework, teaching, running errands, running back and forth to practices and games, washing clothes and dishes, folding laundry, cleaning up behind the little tiny hands in my house that love to make messes, mending boo boos and crushed spirits and much, much more.
I try every day to relish the moments and to hold onto my babies for as long as I can. I try to not let fleeting moments pass too quickly and to hold onto their tender little hearts as long as I can. I will admit that some day’s I am not so good at this. Some day’s the day passes in a blur and I know I yelled a bit too much and lost my patience a little too quickly. I know that I did not take the time to answer all the questions that my inquisitive little children asked me. I know that some days I did not put in as much undivided attention to each of them as I should have.
Over the years I have come to cherish and look forward to the wee hours of the night. After the kids are all in bed and asleep and the house is quiet and still I usually find myself in deep reflection. I will walk into my little, beautiful babies rooms and watch them sleeping. Almost instantly I am overcome with a giant swell of emotions. I will admit that most nights I tear up as I peer down at these sleeping angles. It is in those quiet, still moments that I feel the magnitude of my calling as a mother. I can’t help but reflect on all the mistakes I made that day and rejoice in all the amazing moments that I experienced that day.

I look at my oldest and wonder if I spent enough time showing him how much he means to me. I wonder if I asked too much of him or if I am making him grow up too fast. I look at his sweet little face and I know that he is meant for great things. I know that his heart is full of all the love and compassion that any one person can possibly have. I know that he loves me unconditionally and I hope that during that day I did things to deserve that love. I ponder on the talks we had that day and wonder if I spent enough time teaching him. I wonder if I praised him more then I critiqued him.

I look at my 4 year old (who has autism) and wonder if he did okay today. I ache for him and the battle he is fighting every day and I hope with every fiber of my being that I helped ease that battle a little bit that day. I look at his tiny, little, delicate face and wonder if he knows how much I love him. I wonder if he was overwhelmed that day and was confused by his feelings. I wonder if anyone hurt his feelings that day or if anyone went out of their way to be his friend. I tear up thinking about the journey he is on in this life and say a silent prayer to my Father in Heaven that I will be the best mother too him, so that he won’t ever feel like he is on his journey alone.

I shut their door and walk down the hall to our 2 year old's room. Often times I sit down on the floor by his bed and peer at his little body. I watch his chest move up and down as he breathes and think about how his little baby features are just slipping through my fingers. He grows more every day and I just want to hold on to that moment with him forever. I feel my chest tighten as I think about how fleeting these moments are and how before long he will be leaving me to serve a mission, go to school, meet his wife and have his own family. I sometimes scoop him up into my arms and just hold him. I kiss his forehead and take a deep breath, thinking that maybe by doing this I can take it all in and never forget how I feel at that moment.
When he starts to stir I lay him back down and walk to his sister’s room.

 In our babies room I gaze at her sweet little tiny features and realize that she is growing right before my eyes. I hold her tiny baby fingers in mine and marvel at her little baby chub that will all too soon be gone. I peer at her sweet sleeping smile and want to just drink it all in. I want to hold onto this moment forever, to bottle it all up and keep it close to my heart forever. I stare at her and can see her one day, years from now, standing next to her baby’s bed and marveling over the same things. By this time my heart is so full with love that I feel like it may burst.
It’s in these moments that I truly see them as God seems them. I see their spirits and their innocence. I see how precious and tender they are. I see how little they still are and how much they still have to learn and I still have to teach them. I see these tiny little hearts and I want to just hold them and block out all the evil in the world around them. I want to show them all the beauty and all the grace that the world has to offer. I want to take back everything that I did wrong that day. My heart swells beyond the bounds that I ever thought possible and I want to do everything in my power to be the best mom I can be.
The pain is so real, so aching and so beautiful at the same time. It’s the circle of life, our parents did it, we did it, and these little ones that we have stewardship over will one day do it too. I think it’s the hardest, most rewarding part of being a parent. We raise them and watch them grow and then they leave us to forge their way in this world. (I am sure I will be the mom who cries herself to sleep in her kid’s bed for the first few nights {month’s maybe} after each one of my children move out.) It is on that day, in the not so distant future, that we hope and pray that we did everything we could for them. We hope that we taught them and prepared them for this world. We hope that we loved them enough and in the way they needed to be loved and we wish with all of our hearts that they will find all the happiness and joy that this world has to offer.
After I spend a little bit of time with each of my precious angels I walk into my room and I kneel down in prayer. It’s in this moment that I know who I want to be as a mom. It’s in the quietness all around me that the still small voice of the lord can be heard and that the spirit can be felt so strong. It is then in the stillness all around me that I know what the Lord expects of me and need of me. I can truly reflect on all that happened that day and I can commune with the Lord on how to better handle myself the next day. I can feel the beauty of motherhood in every aspect of my life. I know then that this is the most important calling on earth and that I am always blessed by the Lord and he is always is there guiding my hand in his great work of raising children.

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