One of my favorite parts of the day is the end of it--that moment (shamefully soon after the kids are in bed) when I can finally crawl under the sheets, lay my head down, grab my Kindle and read until I fall asleep. But before I pick up my latest book, I take in the view:
About a year ago, I printed out and hung various family pictures (which I have updated once this past summer). The wall opposite our bed is huge and I had planned to cover it with pictures for some time, but never got around to it until last summer.
Without even realizing it, nearly every night without fail, I find myself taking in each and every picture. I study Frances's easy smile; grin at George's mischievous eyes; feel my heart grow when I see the pictures with Will and the kids, and get a little tight-throated looking at the pictures of the dogs with Frances and George, knowing now more than ever how fleeting are those times. Once I've looked at every picture, back and forth, up and down, a cell somewhere deep in my brain starts the "thank you" speech.
Thank you, Universe, for these incredible gifts that are now tucked safely in their beds. Thank you for giving me a daughter who is a better human that I could ever dream of being--kind, patient, loving, gracious, smart, energetic, and with more potential than I have ever known. Thank you for a son who is more like me than his father--stubborn, head-strong, passionate, physical, and sweet, sweet, sweet. During these days, especially recently, when that sweet boy is testing my boundaries more than ever before, thank you for letting me relive these moments of sheer joy through pictures. Those joyous moments happen much more often than not--thank you for reminding me of that. Thank you for letting us have Max, even if it was for a shorter time than any of us imagined. He is still loved, talked about and missed every single day in this house. Thank you for Marshall--for his "Marley & Me"-like behaviors (BAD!) that you forgive the instant you look in those warm, brown eyes. And most of all, thank you for Will. For some reason, dear Universe, you directed Will my way and while I have no idea how I became the lucky recipient of his love I am learning to stop asking "why" and started simply saying "thank you."
I am learning to veer my thoughts away from "I don't deserve these gifts" to a simple "thank you." I am learning, but it is hard. It is a more natural train of thought to wish well upon those who seem to deserve it--those who always do the right thing; never wish for a day (or even a week) off from their job of motherhood; address problem behavior with a Snow White sing-songy voice; don’t get annoyed at their near-perfect spouse because he isn't perfect, darn it; never become jealous when they see people that seem to have more than they do when they already have so much. Too much. Those perfect souls deserve everything I have--not me. See what I mean? It's hard for me not to think that way. But I am learning. And apparently I am a visual learner because these dozen or so family pictures teach me that same lesson every single night.
Thank you, Universe, for everything that I have. I am not perfect, but I am lucky. And I'll take that any day of the week.
Happy Thursday, everyone!