It's a new day.
I'm so sleepy that I'm not even sure if I'm awake yet. 
Did I really float down the Amazon River in a cardboard box and eat mangoes on the bank?
I can still hear the river lapping when I feel a pair of hands on my hip and a tiny, two year old sized butt sitting on my ankles. 
Nope. Not in the jungle.
I'm here. In my bed. In the middle of winter.
Two kids are climbing on me and the third is crying for me. 
I know that as soon as I open my eyes, I have to be responsible. 
I have to make breakfast and then clean up the kitchen.
I have to change two diapers and convince the oldest child to put on pants and then negotiate which ones and explain a hundred times why he can't run around the house naked every day.
I have to listen and respond to a hundred different versions of "Mommy! Mommy. Mommy?". 
Requests. Demands. Tattles. Messes. Crying. Whining. Fighting. 
When I open my eyes, I have to be Mom. 
Deep breath in... 

"Hi Mommy!"
"Mommy can you build my lego set?" 
"Mom! Watch this!" 
"I gotta go. Here's the baby. See you tonight." 

It is chaos from the moment I open my eyes until the moment I close them again. 
I feel like I can't get ahead of anything. 
I want to have a plan, activities, things to keep us busy, but it just never seems to happen. 
I wash the dishes and they pile up again. 
I put a load of laundry in and the pile I just folded mysteriously ends up on the floor in a crumpled mess. 
There is so much noise.
I'm tired, but they won't let me rest. 
I'm hungry, but every time I try to make myself breakfast, someone needs me. Something breaks. Someone took someone else's toy. The baby is hungry. The cycle continues. 
Finally, it's nap time. The older ones are resting and it's just me and the baby. 

Why won't she let me put her down? 
Just play with these toys! Bang the pots and pans! I don't care, I just want to sweep this floor! 
Here. Eat a cracker. I just want to wash the dishes. 
Go to sleep! Stop crying! You don't need me! 

But ... she does need me...doesn't she?  Don't they? I am the axis on which their world spins.  I guess I forgot. But she needs me, so I remember. In this moment, I am thankful for my fussy, clingy, whiny little girl. She requires that I stop. That I slow down. That I pause. 

Her eyes say all that I need to hear and so we pause. We sit. We talk. We play. I soak in these seconds and breathe them in deep. There is no because. There is no "I better do this now because I'll miss it in 20 years." There are no thoughts of the future, only of right now. I don't care if I remember this moment in 20, 30, 50 years. I just want to be in it and to know it and embrace it and not rush it away. For no other reason except I need it and she needs it and there are two little boys sleeping that need more pauses as well. 

So we pause. Today and tomorrow and the next and the next ... Until all I have left are pauses, but my reasons no longer fit on my lap.


Thanks so much for reading! If you like what you read, you'll probably enjoy my new book, Deep Cries Out! It's a devotional for moms in hard places and I'd love it if you took the
time to check it out. Thanks again! <3