Could Millie's excitement over her morning dentist appointment today have been more adorable? And her joy over the glittery new purple toothbrush more infectious?
Rosie, now standing up on her own right smack in the middle of the floor, and her adoring sisters all running over to grab her hands and drag her along to practice walking, and her just eating up the attention and letting them pull her wherever they will. How she imitates Lyddie's "Meow meow" standing her crib with sparkling eyes gazing at her big sister in the top bunk a few feet away. How she wiggles and dances and screams with excitement in her high chair at mealtimes when we are all gathered to watch her and laugh over her performance. How her little thighs are all of a sudden getting more rolls while she adores the cow's milk I have introduced the past few weeks. How she grabs my cheeks with her two little hands and kisses me with the sweetest baby kisses imaginable: the sloppy kind of kisses that leave you covered in drool.
Alma, wrestling with ideas of "home" and belonging, and my prayers over her, my longing for her not even coming near to our Father's longing for her - and for all His children. Her quick giggle and love of being tickled, the way she connects with Rosie, and how she asks for the phrase from a favorite book every night at bedtime - "Mommy will you say "Goodnight my darling?" And I stoop down and brush brown strands from her forehead and say "The stars on high are shining bright, sweet dreams my darling, sleep well, goodnight," and plant a kiss on that little forehead. Oh how we love Time for Bed by Mem Fox.
Lyddie, bright and sunshine with storm clouds that pass by furious and quick. Lyddie is like our sky here - you can sometimes see the storm coming from far off and the torrential downpour is quick and gone and the sun returns. How proud I am of her learning to read! As if I am the first mother to have taught this skill, proud like I invented reading. When I hear her little voice sounding out words on the page, I hear doors opening to worlds that I have fallen into and that have shaped my soul and loves. I find that I crave the ]time I spend with her in the afternoon, the extra few minutes grabbed cuddling on my bed with sun streaming in the big windows, while all other children are in quiet rooms resting, and we talk and read a chapter in a book together. She is becoming my friend and not just my baby.
These children fascinate me. I am not always fascinated; sometimes I am just tired and forget to be fascinated but reflecting on each of them stirs up in me a desire to rush in and kiss each closed eye and soft cheek. My bones may be weary but my heart is full.