Tuesday, April 17, 2012


I sometimes wake up in the morning, already exhausted by the to-do list. And often times it's not the physical to-do list that seems overwhelming- I know I'll do my best with that, and that whatever doesn't get finished probably wasn't as important as I thought it was.

It's the other to-do list that carries much more weight.

Sweet Baby Kaia wakes up and I give all the boys a chance to tell her good morning. Her face literally lights up, and they are only seconds behind in mimicking the expression of delight. I hope they learn to always value each other, that they are learning how to build relationships.

Dinner is over, and as they scatter off, I try to patiently remind them, "What do we do after dinner?"  "Oh yeah, clear our plates, clear the table." I hope they learn to pull their weight, to be part of a team.

They're arguing passionately, because they believe passionately. "Don't call him an idiot. Tell him your feelings, what's upsetting you." I hope they learn to communicate, to be respectful, to love despite differences.

It's 7:50 a.m. and time to leave for school. "Have you done everything? Are you ready?" They know they need to get dressed, eat breakfast, brush their teeth, and pack their back packs. I hope they learn to be responsible.

There's so much to teach. That people are more important than games. That they're going to mess up, but try again and again. That rewards come after hard work. That growing pains mean they're getting stronger, wiser. That life is hard, but amazing.That they are enough. I hope they're learning.

As I lay by my sweet boy- my baby- his fevered cheek resting against my face, my hand on his too-fast heart beat, I feel that worry. My head knows it's just a normal child sickness, but my heart always worries it's something more- something rare- when I lay this close to one of my sick kids. Because it doesn't feel normal at all. And they don't know how much I need them, how much they give me. And in these moments, I'm more acutely aware of my desperation.

Their being alive...
is the strongest anchor. I'm here to stay.
defines valuable. I'm finally committed to responsibility.
is reason enough to accept me. My best is enough for them.
incentivizes me to love more patiently, to love deeper, to love bigger.
magically shuffles life's priorities into place. I know what is important.

All the answers are clear in those tender, slow moments.
 I need them to keep teaching.
There's so much to learn. I hope I listen.
When these kids are holding their own little baby in their arms, life's secret will be revealed.

That all this time they were really the teacher.

What have you learned from kids?


  1. Beautiful post! This captures the essence of us women who love our little ones. And it is a secret something you will not discover until, like you said, their own babies fill their arms.


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