It's kind of late. Everyone is in bed (including Aaron), but I'm up. I'm up packing lunches, making snacks, readying backpacks, washing shorts (because I haven't done laundry all week and Parker's completely out).
And it's the craziest thing…I'm not bitter. Not even a little tiny bit. I was lying in bed an hour ago, making a to-do list for tomorrow, when I realized I'd be better off getting a head start this evening. There was a time when I would have resented these chores. I would have been grumpy that I was up all by myself slaving away (oh the drama!). I somehow felt entitled to a more lofty position or higher calling than scraping dried banana bits from the highchair and floor. But, by the grace of God, that's not where I am this evening. Instead, I am grateful. I hear the dryer preparing tomorrow's shorts, see the bread and toaster waiting on the counter, the backpacks on the table, and I feel content.
I feel as though I have finally entered into my seasons of grace as a mom. This is our family's Golden Age. The one where the kids get along most of the time. The one where they are considerate, demonstrative, funny, and fun. The one where I am still cool in their eyes. We actually enjoy each other's company. We can be silly or serious. We still do The Kissing Hand (a great read if you need a children's book to aid with goodbyes), cuddles, tickle fights, bedtime prayers and kisses.
So it's a pleasure for me to take the time tonight to do what I could put off until the morning. To avoid the mad dash. To squeeze in some extra cuddle time before releasing them into the world. To thank them in a small way for being such amazing little people.