they sit at the kitchen table, bathed in sun. my three stair-steps each in their chairs, each contributing to a conversation that only makes sense to them.
i sit here watching them play in innocence, blissfully unaware of any wrestling i had done in the early hours of this morning.
wrestling done over them.
it was yesterday, soon after breakfast that i sat down next to lyla and realized that in less than a year, she is going to be six.
i still remember, exhausted and terriifed at the newborn He had given me and hearing that the next 5 years were going to fly by.
nestled on my lap, sound asleep with my pinky in her mouth her helplessness seemed never-ending and five years stretched long into the future...
she sat, yesterday morning, back so straight and hands gently and gracefully tearing apart pieces of play dough to copy the baking i was doing.
her hands, no longer curled in helplessness, but raised and open...longing to be helpful.
5 long years that have flown by so quickly and i can barely catch my breath at the speed of it all.
5 years that i have struggled with giving my whole heart to her, to them. fearing giving too much and smothering such fragile, tender spirits. fearing that if i immersed too much of myself, i would lose myself and them in the process.
i couldn't sleep as the clock kept time through the night. my eyes popped open with each sound outside my home and when i would pray, it would always come back to the subject of my little ones.
and He very tenderly showed me, as the wind howled and i tried not to panic that by trying to swing the pendulum in the opposite direction of what i have known, pain still enters the picture. for them to not look for love and affection in all the wrong places, they need me to enter in and be present in this fragile dance we find ourselves in.
by trying to protect them, i've built walls that they don't know how to scale.
and i'm losing precious time...
i thought of jacob, as minutes turned into hours...as tony left for work and the house was still and quiet. as i could hear lyla's soft snoring and olivia's snippets of sleepy converstaion. as elias would giggle in his sleep.
He gives time, however short and fleeting. He gives time as a gift; these children, this husband, this home, this life and i consistently try and figure out how to protect myself, them, from any pain we can cause each other.
and in the process we lose more time...
and live in cocoon of hurt we don't understand.
the habit is deep, the protection runs thick and instead of asking for blessing, i asked for help; to know how to let the pendulum rest in the middle and love well.
i think jacob had the answer right. tired and exhausted, probably weak and feeling defeated, he refused to let go.
with each question, each snuggle, each heartbeat of mine and theirs, i feel Him whisper, in clinging to Me, you find your middle. in clinging to Me, you can't cling too tightly to them. in clinging to Me, you are free to love...and love well.
and the sunlight plays with the highlights in their hair...