Tonight I was tucking Will into bed and singing him a lullaby. He chuckled his low, funny laugh and I swear he reached up and waved at me with a smile and then snuggled into his blankets and closed his eyes. It made my heart melt (that boy does that to me several times every single day) and made my mind go back to a small instance this morning.
Today is the last day of Sterling working seven days in a row. Six actually, because he worked 9 last week to make up for going to Colorado for his interview, which was a very nice two days spent together. (Did I say we wrote a Bucket List for 30 things we want to do before our 30th wedding anniversary? I'm super excited.) The last day of him working that many days in a row is the hardest. I really didn't have anything going on, which was odd because I have been SUPER busy lately, and since I'd sat at home alone all day yesterday after church getting more and more depressed by the cold rain, I decided I definitely needed to get outside and catch some of the beautiful sunshine with the kids. I texted my friend Chantelle to come with but when she didn't get back to me IMMEDIATELY I texted another friend...and ended up with BOTH of them on a beautiful walk(even if it was a LOT colder than the deceiving sun let on).
We were just walking around our neighborhood, which is pretty quiet, so we all were walking on the main road. Picture one mom with baby in baby carrier also pushing stroller. One mom pushing carseat/stroller combo, and I was pushing my double stroller stuffed with blankets in the back for Will. It definitely looked like a lot. I suppose 5 babies is a lot. While walking, a car slowed and turned and a nice old lady rolled down her window. "This is the BEST time of your life!" she said with a BIG smile. We all laughed and smiled a bit and thanked her. We talked about it for a few seconds and then returned to our conversation. About how jeans don't fit the same after pregnancy and nap schedules, and potty training issues. All the hum-drum things in our current lives that can be hard and aggravating.
Then tonight, as Will gave me that unique chuckle that is all his own, I recalled that lady. "This is the best time of your life." Of course, being a mom, I started to cry and I thought about the two accidents Ruth had today, the cracker bits all over my floor, Will's interrupted nap schedule and his crankiness waking up in his high chair after dinner. I thought about Ruth having a hard time getting along with my friend's 2 yr old girl all afternoon and especially about my impatience with her whiny voice and insistent 'no's' and 'mine's'. I also thought about my two wonderful friends who stayed for lunch and made the long day pass so quickly. One friend who is waiting to pick her husband up from the airport at midnight because he is getting home from a med school interview. Oh how I know those nights! It's nice to have company. Company in my home. In the church. As a wife. As a mother. They remind me of all the good I'm doing. Of the strong spirits I am teaching and their precious hearts. The triumph of success in something as little as going in the potty. Of the much much bigger picture that makes cracker crumbs seem so very insignificant. When I pay attention to the whining and get pure love and smiles in return.
This is the best time of my life.