“You’ve really got your hands full,” people say when they see me walking down the street pushing JP in the stroller with Tabitha snuggled in the Bjorn. It isn’t really a complement though. Their eyes belie their inner thoughts: Better you than me.
Yes, my hands are full.
Being a mom of two so young and close in age isn’t easy. (I’m chuckling out loud!) Come by our home at 5:00 and you’ll see. That’s about the time JP gets sleepy (cranky) and since his canine teeth are currently popping through, it’s doubly tough round dinner time. Tabitha usually wakes around then and man, that girl cries loud! Imagine me trying to get dinner with a toddler melting as he clings to my leg while I nurse the baby in my arms.
“It is just a season,” people say, encouraging us to think positively to the days when the children will be bigger and the chaos will cease.
They are right – it is only a period of time in our lives. Before long, these precious babies will be darling kids and then one day grown and gone… We only get this day once. I know this all too well.
And that thought makes me sad. And thankful…for the perspective that it brings.
The house is a wreck and JP’s toys are everywhere. Today, I am going to choose to celebrate this. Let me tell you why…
Right now (among the blocks and musical instruments and toy cars) there are three balls on the living room floor. They make me smile because I can hear JP’s voice saying, “baaah…baaah” as he holds one proudly in the air. In the afternoons, we practice throwing and kicking the softest one down the hall and he giggles…oh, how he giggles.
In his room, there are nose and finger prints all over the sliding glass door. That’s because, each day, JP stands at the window and “barks” at the neighborhood dogs, makes truck sounds when the garbage guy comes by, and (best of all) stands there in the evening saying “Daaaaaaaa-deeeee!” until Tedd comes home and waves from his car as he drives in the garage.
There is a colossal pile of clothes on the living room sofa. It has been there since yesterday. See, JP’s one real chore is to help me move the laundry from the washer to the dryer and then from the dryer to the basket. That’s usually as far as it gets during daylight – and sometimes socks are scattered the length of the hall. But that’s okay because he’s learning responsibility and that helping can be fun.
Tabitha is not on a nursing schedule (so much for Baby Wise!) but she smiled her first sweet social smile last week and sleeps for more than six hours at night! Who would complain? Who could complain?
Every challenge comes with a blessing. Every tantrum, an opportunity to practice patience and choose to love…every smashed banana or goldfish on the floor, an opportunity to give thanks for God’s provision…every time I can’t calm both babies at once because there is only one me (so help me God) is a chance to hold them both extra tight, to speak softly, smother them in kisses, and to ask God to stand in the gap.
Oh, God…please stand in the gap.
And thank you, Jesus, for the unbelievable blessing…this gift beyond words…thank you for picking us as parents to these two amazing kids. I wouldn’t trade a moment...not even a tough one. Thank you for hands that are full.