Every night, I tuck Ramona in and snuggle up with her until she's asleep. Now, I have to admit that while most nights it's a sweet and appreciated routine, there are times when I feel impatient and wish that my child were just asleep already. Those times when I feel rushed, or have too many things on my mind, or am just not living in that moment, I am sometimes pulled gently, gracefully back to the moment, to realize that these moments are holy gifts.
As I recently reported, Ramona said the other night, "Life is really harder than it looks." It was bedtime. She was snuggled in, and I was feeling impatient to "get away" that night and then out came, "Life is really harder than it looks." I smiled at her and asked her what prompted the observation. She told me all about how she'd felt at Kids Against Hunger that day (though my older girls have helped out there, it was Ramona's first time.) She had expected it to be in a different kitchen. She thought she'd have a stool. She didn't know how hard it would be to stand for more than 90 minutes, opening bags or scooping rice. We had a sweet, precious conversation and then she drifted off to sleep.
And, if I hadn't been snuggled up with her, I wouldn't have heard any of it. If I'd given in to my impatience that evening, I would have missed the whole thing.
I'm reminded of something else Ramona said the other day, when she was helping me make my bed. She didn't like the way I'd pulled up the sheet, and she went about straightening it.
"Don't worry, Mommy," she said. "I'll righten out all your mistakes."
And that she does.
So does Anne. So does Betsy.
They've taken the raw material, the woman I was, and they continually reshape it into the mother I am, the mother I'm still becoming.
They righten out all my mistakes.