Sometimes the wonder of it all completely unravels me.
I watch as the boy puts a comforting arm around his little brother. I love his sweet spirit. He's getting so big, looking so grown up, all long bony limbs that somehow still fit just right when he curls up on my lap. I never know where our conversations will take us next and am I saying the right things, answering him well?
The toddler grins with wild joy as he wrestles with his big brother. I love that grin, so unrestrained and carefree. He looks older every day and where has my baby gone? In his place is this toddler who laughs and laughs over the littlest things, delighting in making others laugh along with him. And I do, I laugh. How could I not?
They laugh at each other and help each other and love each other and yes, fight with each other, but oh, they adore each other. I watch them grow and it's not the growth that brings tears to my eyes, but them, oh them. They are so very alive and the simple fact of their existence seems nearly magical.
What am I to do with these two little lives? The wonder, the responsibility, the indescribable joy and fear. Some days I feel barely more than a child myself, an imposter in this grown-up's body, and here I am to raise these boys into men who live and love and hopefully don't need too much therapy?
I am woefully inadequate and embarrassingly imperfect. Some days I feel anything but gentle. Some days I yell and they cry and when my sweet little boy comes up to me and tells me I'm sorry, Mommy, for making you mad, my heart splits straight down the middle and it is me, all me, who should be apologizing. We pray together and I add my own silent ending, begging that these are the moments he remembers most of all - not that I yelled, but that I asked his forgiveness.
But I cannot live in the past, with its regrets, nor in the future, with its worries. There is only this moment and in it I can choose to bring peace, to speak kindness, to encourage, to love, to find joy. And they fill it with such joy when I have the eyes to see.
Maybe that is the answer. May I always have the eyes to see this joy, even when patience wears thin and body cries out for sleep and self becomes too preoccupied with Self. Even then, there is joy. Joy drawing from gratitude, and gratitude drawing from the awareness that all of this - all of them - is a precious gift.
May I always have the eyes to see.