|It's easy to forget how blessed you are sometimes when |
you're changing the 400th dirty diaper of the day.
Taking a moment to reflect on the love of family
changed a bad day for me into a great one.
Most recently, with the arrival of our third child, I have had very little time to myself. Perhaps more importantly, I've hardly even been able to look at my wife, much less have some relaxing one-on-one time with her. Last night I came home from work to find her feeding the baby, as usual, while my two older kids demanded playtime. I'm not scared of playtime, but sometimes I just want to relax.
Since what I want generally means about as much as a Star Trek convention in the grand scheme of things, I went outside and played with my kids. That could be a bit of an exaggeration. I mowed the lawn, and the kids followed me outside excitedly to watch me mow through this summer's until-now virgin grass.
My son was upset I couldn't mow the grass right by the porch. Since I didn't feel like weed eating it either, he took matters into his own hands. He snagged handfuls of the long grass and chased me around while I pushed the mower and threw the grass into my path so it would get "eaten" by the lawn mower. It was hilarious watching him sprint up to the mower, which he's scared of, toss a few blades of plucked grass, and dash off again at top speed to make sure he wasn't eaten himself.
This whole time I'm mowing, I'm thinking how much I'd just like to be hiking with my wife on one of the first nice days of the year. While thus lamenting, my wife came out with our newborn and stood watching me finish off the lawn. My son then stood next to her and my daughter filed into place next to him, curls bouncing as she grinned at me.
It was a "masterpiece moment." My whole family lined up in descending order, back light streaming through their hair to give them golden halos in the afternoon sun. All (except the infant) had genuine smiles as they watched me trudge across the lawn through one of my last strips of uneaten grass. Suddenly, I wasn't doing the yard work because I had to. I was doing it for that beautiful family of mine. For that instant, I couldn't have changed anything to make my life better.
It was a reminder I needed. When we get caught up in the drudgery of raising children, we can look to those silver-lined moments to count our blessings. Ever since this happened, I haven't been able to erase the image from my mind - not that I've wanted to anyway. I hope to always be able to remember that between crying sessions, pouty fits and picky meals, my family is as about as perfect as they come. And no quantity of bad days will ever change that.