12 Days of Thanksgiving: DAY THREE
Smiles when I see them. “Maybe we should make a fire tonight.” Excitement from the day. Really wanting to play more with their friends. “Let me see if it’s cold outside. It’s cold!” All three talking at once as we climb into the car. Trying to buckle up on their on but it’s too dark. Choosing the CD track to play. Organizing the fire-building activity as we drive. “Can I have two pieces of candy?” The great unpiling of backpacks and papers and artwork and leftover snacks. Sifting through folders and hanging bags on hooks. A parade of excitement down the steps and to the wood pile. Instructions from Little Drummer Boy. Always. Big logs, medium logs and little sticks. Fire starters and long matches. Each with a turn to add a piece of wood. “It’s burning!” “Can I tell you about my picture now?” “My tummy hurts.”
Upset stomachs. Cleaning up. Damp clothes. Soothing words. “Is Baby Girl ok?” Curious George. A picture of the Mayflower. In a giant storm. “And then I found the gray crayon!” “Can I sit in the green chair?” Cheesy dogs. No, plain hot dogs. And tater tots. And leftovers from the fridge. More soothing words and rubs on her back. “Look at our fire!” Pumpkin paper plates. Ketchup. Putting her in bed. The laptop. Robin Hood. Boys stretched out on couch and bean bag. Their day’s work done. Email newsletters and Google Analytics. The sign for “I love you.” Changing socks. Finding Lamb. Tucking in this way and that. A Fly Went By. “Tomorrow I’m coming to lunch with you.” “I want you to.” “This is the funniest part.” “Will you pray for me?” A sigh. And a smile as I close the door.
One thousand little things that add up to a normal evening. Just a Tuesday. As the dust of our upheaval settles, it’s a blessing to recognize the signs of just a normal Tuesday evening in late Fall. Even with stomach bugs and tired spirits and full work loads that are somehow just normal. One thousand little things. That are so big.
I can’t believe I get to walk through this life with the three young human beings here. They teach me every day that real life is in the small things. And that it’s big. We face huge hurdles. Long-lasting hurdles. But it is such a blessing to teach them that life is a gift.
I’m blessed. And thankful to teach them. And learn from them. That through hurt and sorrow and the painstaking onslaught of normal, the simple joy emerges. That living is big. That living is worth it. That no matter the cost and depth of endurance, living is a gift worth treasuring. And each day we choose LIVING, we triumph.