It’s so easy to miss the blessing of my children in the chaos of each day. The joy, the gifts.
Those things get lost in the racket of raising kids.
My days overflow with deafening noise and without a minute to think, I become overwhelmed.
From the minute my children awake, there is noise. Feet stomping down the stairs and rushing into my bedroom. Demands for breakfast. Urgent cries to be released from the confines of the crib. A hundred questions about our plans for the day. And a hundred requests to do all the things that kids want to do.
The whining for breakfast turns into whining about breakfast, when the kids are served the exact meal they requested only to change their minds about the order they placed.
And then it’s the begging for snacks. Every two minutes. And then complaining about the options they’ve been given.
And then it’s fighting over toys. And what to watch on TV. And who had what fill-in-the-blank thing first. And books, and paper, and water bottles, because every single thing seems to be worth fighting over.
And then it’s voicing their disapproval for what’s being served for lunch even after they’ve complained for 60 straight minutes about how hungry they are.
And then it’s jumping on furniture, screams of delight echoing throughout the house. And after that, it’s falling off furniture, startled wails piercing my eardrums.
And then it’s the afternoon drop in blood sugar while they wait for me to prepare dinner, the starvation causing mood swings ranging from sluggishly grumpy to maniacally energetic.
And then it’s the complaining about the food on the table, followed by senseless chatter about things my adult brain cannot even begin to understand.
And then it’s the hours of nothingness between dinner and bedtime. Nothing but noise, that is. And after wrangling a couple of noisy kids into bed, the inevitable cries begin and the sudden recollections of all the things “forgotten” lead to numerous trips from the couch to their bedrooms. Because even after they are in bed, my kids don’t stop needing me.
And then finally, somehow, the silence I’ve been dreaming of for 12 hours straight becomes real.
The noise of the day fades away and I breathe. The exhaustion settles in as my brain tunes out. The day is over, yet I still feel called to my children.
Even after wishing desperately to escape from the madness, I find myself standing over them in the dark silence. And the blessings become clear.
Each breath they take. A blessing. Whether sleeping or awake.
The rhythm of their chests rising and falling. A blessing. Whether unnoticed during the movement of the day or strikingly apparent in the stillness of the night.
Each sound that escapes their lips. A blessing. Whether the scream of a tantrum or the steady snore signaling peaceful rest.
The limbs that are capable. A blessing. Whether fighting stillness or comfortably wrapped around my waist.
These and so much more, blessings.
It can be so hard to remember that the hubbub and dizzying motion of each day are gifts. The blaring sounds caused by a couple of wild children are mentally draining. Their constant movement physically exhausting. But in each moment, whether good or bad, there are blessings.
And even on the days where I feel like I am sinking, that truth cannot be drowned out.