It's Summer and all three of our kids had friends over last week. I am enjoying my evening watching the kids interact with each other. The kids are outdoor children, so I grab a chair and a smile as I sit on the driveway and watch several of them play basketball, Clarissa pitching her softball, and there is sidewalk chalk being colored on the drive. There is a lot of activity tonight. I decide that we should all load up in the car and get some ice cream. It took one mention and we had Ryan's car packed with Clarissa and her friends, Austin took Bre and their friends and off we went. The laughter continued at Dairy Queen as we sat on the bench, and watched Austin in full action with his comedy tonight. He is such a hoot! There are loud laughs, silly laughs, snorts... well, let's say there was a lot of noise. We finish our ice cream and head for home. We have a vehicle full of 9 year olds, so the whole way home the loud noises continue from the back seats. We pull into the driveway and I ask Ryan to stop. He looks at me, and I say ok, girls you can get out. They jump out and off they are running around again. I turn to Ryan and say, Do you hear that? He says, No. I say, exactly it's called silence. We both chuckle. I say, I know there will come a day when I long for the sound of our children and their friends, but for now just give me a moment. We both smile. I jump out as I see Austin and Breanna arrive home with their friends. Ryan begins playing basketball with the kids, and I am on the sidelines watching and feeling my heart swell with another cherished moment.
It's Wednesday night, and I hear the sound of children talking, laughing and giggling. For a split second I think about shutting it down as it is late, and I am in bed. However, after my recent exposure to incidents involving children I decide that I will lay back and enjoy the sounds. I am incredibly grateful that I can hear my children, and soon the muffled noises become soothing. One child arrives in another child's room. They are creating new hairstyles, drawing beautiful pictures, organizing their space and laying back on the bed talking of their hopes and dreams for tomorrow. Soon, I fall asleep when I get a gentle tap on my shoulder and a little voice that whispers, will you please tuck me in. I peek one eye, smile and say, of course I will. I get up to tuck Clarissa into bed. On my way back to my room I see that Austin has already fizzled out, and Bre's lights are now out too. I am aware that my heart is full of joy!
I've always considered myself fortunate to be a mother of three beautiful and healthy children. I know I'm not a perfect parent, and I know I've made mistakes, but I do the best that I can at the time. My eyes have truly been opened to see the precious gifts around me each and every day. My children are a gift to me from God. As my children grow older I sometimes question my qualifications at being their Mother, but I find that if I turn toward God and ask for His guidance He is always there.
I know the reality that any of us could be called to Heaven at any given moment, but I think prior to this past year I've always felt the odds of this happening before the age of 90 were slim. (Insert wink.) As I walked through my journey and watched others walk through their journeys this past year, I acknowledge that none of us know when our time here on earth will expire and the blessing of Heaven will begin. With this in mind, I want to be sure to make wonderful family memories, tell those close to me that I love them, share plenty of hugs and smiles and laugh along the way.