Wednesday, November 2, 2011

What's In The Box?

Last night after the girls were in bed Uno crept to the stairs and stage whispered:
“Mommy?  I had a bad dream, a really bad dream!, and I can’t go to sleep.”
With a sigh I hauled myself off of the sofa and tromped downstairs.  It had been a long day and I wasn’t too keen on the kid who couldn’t stay in bed, whatever the reason.
“Will you snuggle me, Mommy?”
“Yes.”  I crawled onto the bed and pulled her body close to mine to nestle up.  ”You need to go back to sleep, okay?”
“Okay.”  {silence}
“Yes.” {Short and a little frustrated.  The kid needed to shut up and sleep already.}
“Mommy, I know I wasn’t alive when you were born but I loved you even then and I knew I would be yours and you would be a nice Mommy… I love you and I’m lucky you’re my Mama.”
There it was, right there in the midst of the ordinary and exasperating.  My Why.
A motivational speaker said everyone has a small box in their lives to put their number one Why for doing things.  He would say, “Find your Why and put it in your box.  Then, every time you question what you’re doing and need a kick-start to put forth one more burst of energy ask yourself, ‘What’s in the box?’”
There are a lot of motivations for why I live my life.
I work sometimes just for money.  Sometimes I stay up too late because I haven’t learned the discipline to stop writing or playing Words with Friends or whatever else I do with my time in the evenings.
I encourage others because it changes life to have someone believe in you.
I am a relatively kind driver because I recognize that the world is full of people who need to have just one thing go their way today.
I am a Believer because I know it is true.
But my big Why, what’s in my box?  My family.
What’s in my box?  My husband, a man who is a blessing from God I don’t deserve in any way, a living reminder of grace.  A man I love and can’t imagine not having to squabble at and walk through each day with.
What’s in my box?  Three little girls who challenge me to the nth degree and make my heart ache when I watch them grow and learn and love.  Mothering is the hardest, most exhausting thing I’ve ever, ever done and the most worthwhile.
There I am, tired and exasperated and sick of change.  On the precipice of “This is SOOOO not worth it!” and a little five-year-old girl boosts my heart and makes me realize every sacrifice, every hug, every aching muscle from holding a child too big for holding, every moment where I blearily look around and think, “I’m really not going to make it out alive this time!”…
… I realize it’s not only worth it, it’s what makes life worth breathing through.
Thank you, Uno, my child who can’t read this blog to know how I express my love through recording the details of conversations, life and observations about you and your sisters… thank you for reminding me of What’s In My Box.
It’s you.  Nestled right there alongside your sisters in my heart.
What’s in your box?

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