Joy Unspeakable: Hope For The Mom With Sweet Potatoes In Her Hair

I had just seen “Mom’s Night Out” and it was storming – the kind of storm that involves crazy electrical lightening and rain so intense you wonder if maybe God changed His mind and He’s going to flood the earth again. (Joke. I know God doesn’t revoke promises.)

I wanted to be home with my babies. After seeing such a touching movie, a movie in which we mothers are reminded of the amazing work we are doing even though we so rarely really feel it, I wanted to plant kisses on the cheeks of each of my little people while they looked sweet and angelic and thank them for making me a mama.

Mind you, sweet and angelic usually only happens when they’re asleep. I have boys. My daughter often looks sweet and angelic when she’s awake but the boys? Not so much.

I arrive home to a quiet house and I creep upstairs. I step on the squeaky floorboard then silently berate myself for not remembering to walk around it. Carefully, I open the door to where both of my boys are sleeping and I find this:

Sweet Spencer

Those cheeks. That cuddling just-so with his blankie. His Buzz Lightyear and Woody pillow atop his dinosaur comforter.

And then it hit me: there will be a time in the very near future in which he won’t have those cheeks anymore. He won’t care about where his blankie is and he won’t be caught dead sleeping on a Buzz Lightyear/Woody pillow atop a dinosaur comforter.

Although it’s trite and I once secretly rolled my eyes (always respectfully, of course) when people said “Enjoy these years because it goes so fast,” I now see that they should have been rolling their eyes at me.

Because they were absolutely, 100% correct. It’s as though someone hit the fast forward button on our lives and just won’t stop.

And while I remember thinking “Thank GOD it goes fast because I need everyone to not need me so much for every little thing,” now that I’m there, in that stage in which everyone survives if I sleep-in on Saturday morning and I don’t worry about them running across a busy parking lot or have to deal with diapers, I find myself longing for those days.

Those days of giggles from the tub and baby burritos wrapped in a towel on the changing table. Those days of reading, Cookie’s Week, and hearing her toddler voice proclaim “Oh, no!” every time that mischievous cat got into trouble.  Those days of finding sweet potatoes in my hair and runaway Graduate puffs in my bra (don’t ask.) Those long, long days of a late-working husband and an exhaustion so intense I could feel it in my bones.

Yes. Even those days.

I miss them.

I know a new season is exciting and good things will happen in this season of mothering school-aged children but I have to admit . . . My heart hurts a little bit at the idea of no longer having a baby/toddler/preschooler in the house. Those precious years won’t ever come back.

So if you’re a mom and you’re knee-deep in diapers and you have sweet potatoes in your hair and you find puffs in your bra (!), just know this: you will miss this. I know it seems completely crazy. But you will.

Now stop rolling your eyes at me.

 So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever. – 2 Corinthians 4:18