Today’s Thanks A Lot post comes from my favorite friend, Sue. You might remember her beautiful words back in February for Days of Love. These words are equally beautiful and make my someday-mama heart squeeze in all the best ways. I love her perspective, and I love her goodness, and I LOVE her sense of humor. I love being her friend. I am so grateful for her example. And I am especially grateful to know I’ll have it in my life always. She is one of my favorite blessings from my mission, and these thoughts about her funny, wonderful, darling babies are some of my favorite reflections on gratitude!
“As I write this, my 4-year-old and my 1-year old daughters are taking apart the entire kitchen while nearly nude and yelling loud songs. It has now progressed to the 4-year-old pulling out four stacked drawers so that the 1-year-old can climb them to grab a handful of soft butter off the counter, only to have a screaming tantrum as I safely lower her to the floor.
These two girls bring me so much exhaustion and simultaneously so much joy that I sometimes am over-flowing with incomparable wonder and gratitude.
It shouldn’t go unsaid that the man I’m married to is the best person on the planet that I’ve ever encountered. There are moments of bliss where I find myself exclaiming within myself: am I catching a glimpse of what Heaven is like? And the fact that he has fathered my two little best friends merely amplifies the affection I feel for him.
One day, in the midst of some agonizing anxiety, I noticed my 4-year-old Seda coming toward me. I felt the heavy stones of being responsible for little human lives. My brain felt as if it was on fire with the stress life here brings. I felt exhausted, like I was trying to stuff our dining room table into a small backpack and then carry it several miles away for no reason. (These moments are infrequent – thank goodness – but help shed light on what’s important). Then, I heard Seda’s soft whisper, “Oh, I have to help mama feel better.” I had assumed she was approaching me to ask for something or to complain about something. But, she merely came over, in my moment of distress, to give me “soft tickles” on my arm to comfort me.
On another day, little Ophelia followed me around more than usual, to the point where my ability to get piles of chores done was being greatly inhibited. I became annoyed, while bent over the odorous kitchen garbage, and I whined, “Ophelia! Mama can’t come play with you or read you books or whatever you want, right now, because I have to get some yucky tasks done!” I continued my activity by tying the red plastic strings of the garbage bag together and ballooned the clean empty bag in the air, up and down, to get it ready for this day’s sticky trash. But as I brought it down into the garbage pail, my little 1-year-old sweetheart, took it from my hands and did it herself. Then she flashed me a huge grin, showing off her 7 teeth, and I finally recognized that she had only been following me around, wanting to mimic my movements and be my little helper.
These two little girls. More than 30 years younger than me, have taught me more about empathy, humility, fun, and love than most other human could ever have the capacity to.”