I woke up this morning sandwiched between two of the cutest little boys I have ever seen.

One on his back with arms held high over his head, emitting sounds like a fast-asleep cartoon character, deep inhales and sweet exhales with sound.  The other clutching my back like a baby koala, whose black eyes formed crescents when I looked over my shoulder at 7:30 a.m. to find him patiently waiting for me to join him in the land of awake.

Not surprisingly, neither required much “wake-up” time.  We went from 0-60 miles per hour in a matter of seconds.

Sarah slept with Daddy in our hotel room, a room in my husband’s hometown, a small town in southern Indiana that is not typically a vacation destination.

But for our family, this was our summer weekend getaway.  My trip to Ghana pretty much blew through our travel budget and it was well worth it.

Because what I found this weekend is that as long as you get your parents away from dishes and laundry and errands and food prep and other domestic things that suck up much of their time and you stay in a hotel with a pool, it doesn’t really matter where in the world you are.

It’s just fun.  And more relaxed.  And we make giggles and squeal and are louder than we should be and we stand in awe of a machine that produces pancakes at the touch of a button.

And me, tired old mama with the overwhelming list of things to do to just keep the house functioning, I got to just enjoy being with my three and their daddy.  Without the interruptions of life.

So again, I see through the eyes of a child the lesson on simplicity I so often forget, the eyes that get clouded by too much adult and not enough kid, that get tired too easily and don’t see what’s right in front of her on most days.

And I thank because I know.

I know that the time is going too fast already, that they will one day leave this nest and I’ll be left wishing I could just wipe off one more handprint from the sliding glass doors, yearning for the time when I had to sternly tell the boys to stop laughing for the hundreth time which of course, only produced more laughter.  Wishing my daughter would ask me to play pretend up in her room for “girl time” and longing to hold her pink bundle of a firstborn baby in my arms while I rocked her in the green rocking chair.

When we returned from our weekend of visiting JJ’s family, there was a letter from Sarah’s first grade teacher.

And I’m jolted, eyes wide open, to see that it really is going by in the blink of an eye though my oldest is only six and the others, the two wild hyenas that melt my heart, a mere four and three.

And yet.

This is precious time.  And I know it.

And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 18:3

Meeting a cousin for the first time and swimming – does it get any better than that?

Why did we ever think they could share a bed?  Just plain asking for it…

And to think I once said my children would never wear clothing with licensed characters in public…#10,908 of things I said I wouldn’t do as a parent that I let go of when I entered reality

And yes, as a matter of fact, I do wish I had invented “Pillow Pets”…

Lest we forget it’s Monday?  I must continue counting for there are just so many.  Thank you, God, for:

541.  Time away with them – all four of them.

542.  Being able to celebrate a new bride and watching my sweet  soon-to-be-flower-girl daughter help her open gifts at a shower

543.  A sweet almost-two year boy with a twinkle in his eyes and balled fists when he’s excited.  Absolutely precious.

544.  Time spent playing at the park where my husband played as a child

545.  Fantastically wonderful Diet Vanilla Cokes from the “Zip ‘n’ Sip”

546.  Family that loves deeply even when we don’t see them often

547.  Children who are getting a little bit older and are a little more portable

548.  The nap that everyone took on Saturday afternoon.  Sheer loveliness.

549.  Making it to the toilet when he said “I’m gonna sicky-up”.  At a restaurant.  Good times.

550.  The joy of coming home and appreciating the familiar we so often take for granted.

May you find some time to get away.  May you not tell them to quiet down.  May you let the dishes pile up a bit and just be present – no matter where you are.

Joining in with the usual Monday suspects I adore:

Ann for “Multitude Monday” and Jen for “Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood”….



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