Red eyes overwhelmed by lack of sleep greet my gaze in the black-framed mirror. Cupped hands splash cold water over my face and then dab-dab-dab away the drops. I sigh. Then, tossing down the towel, I turn away from my reflection.
Little Ezra's waking grunts and cries beckon me to the nursery, where his hungry lips seek his morning sips at five o'clock. His contented nuzzling is interrupted by fast-paced footsteps falling on the wood-laminate flooring. Joseph is awake. He is a two-year-old whirlwind, whose turbulent adventures leave me spinning in his wake. At breakfast, banana-pancake-making becomes a juggling act as jars and spoons, bowls and boxes seek higher ground and cling fast to window sills or fridge-top as a way to find shelter from those fast-grasping hands. Lunch takes hours to prepare as I chase Joseph from kitchen to living room and back again while his gleeful wees dance in time with the potato-masher swaying in his hand and jiggling colander half-set atop his head. And this while holding baby Ezra, whose ability to sit himself is just in its infancy.
After a brief reprieve after noon, when smiling Joseph dreams beneath his bedcovers and little Ezra plops down upon his own mattress while his lips suck at air, I gain an unexpected moment of silence in the house. Hmmm... Laundry? Dishes? Should I finally wash the floor? Is that the exercise bike calling me, with the shower close at hand? Perhaps I should get a head start on dinner? Or a nap?, my body pleads! By the time I check two or three things off my mental list - sorry body! - the ever-familiar cries of a hungry baby redirect my attention.
And then... fast-paced footsteps falling on the wood-laminate flooring. Joseph is awake! And whatever speed he moves during the morning hours, after his nap that speed is doubled. So quick and fleet, Joseph seems to fill multiple locations at once: jumping on the sofa's cushions and grabbing bowls to fill with cars; sipping water from my cup and clicking lamp-lights on and off; hugging brother in his walker and splaying books across the rug; scribbling colors across his easel and squirting tooth paste all about; dumping paper in the toilet and grabbing milk cartons from the fridge.
When the day ends with both boys in bed for a blissful night-time sleep, utter exhaustion seems as marrow in my bones. The day's chaos reels over and over in my mind so as to stiffle the quiet of the room. Every nerve feels hyper-stimulated and completely confused with a sudden lag in constant motion. I sigh.
Sometimes I cry. Sometimes I laugh. But, I always thank God for the daily rediscovery of life's fullness. Living thankfully from one adventure to the next is a choice I make, whether I'm wiping spit-up off the floor, reading a child's favorite book three times in a row, re-organizing dresser drawers, cooking a grand Grecian meal, creating a washable-paint masterpiece, helping to design a Dr. Seuss-esque building from smooth wooden blocks, or scraping playdough from the whites of nails.
What adventures fill your life with thankfulness?