It has been a long winter. Living in a place that usually has four seasons, I always know winter is coming, and I am usually (moderately) prepared. At our house, it generally means four months of less time outside and way too much TV. As my son has grown older we would adventure outside no matter what the weather, but this year with a little sister in tow, that has been much harder. This year we also had a lot of snow that stayed for a LONG time...and that meant too much inside time, too much TV, and a lot of crazy for all of us.
So, as my daughter came down with her sixth or seventh illness of this long winter, I was about to lose my mind. Not only was this another sickness, it was a SUPER contagious one. No Montessori for a week. Insert more crazy.
On the first day she was sick, I was already overwhelmed about what was going to come the rest of the week. My son bouncing off the walls because we were confined to the house due to my daughter's sickness, and a crabby sick baby. Fun. Yay me. Here we go again.
My daughter was feeling terrible and asked to take a shower. The shower usually distracts her from how terrible she’s feeling, so we got in. Immediately, she looked up at me and cried, “Up-y, up-y” with her sick and sleepy looking eyes. I picked her up, covered in spots and hot from a fever, and held her. She laid her head on my shoulder and placed her little arms around my neck and squeezed me tight, and I rocked her.
At that moment, despite feeling the way I did about the never-ending winter, and another sickness, and all the other things bounding through my head, I was overcome with a sense of peace. She fit perfectly in my arms like she was meant for me, and I was meant to be her mommy. I was overwhelmed with gratitude for this amazing, tiny, person who was feeling miserable but was immediately comforted by me. I was overwhelmed with love for her sweetness, and her fragility, and her love for me in return. I held her for what seemed like forever, and she didn’t move. I didn’t move my arms from around her. I smelled her hair and kissed her face and was completely taken away by the emotion of how much I love her.
And the rest melted away. The worry of sickness, the crappy weather, the crazy that the last few months had been. All of it gone.
It’s overwhelming to have another person so completely dependent on you for everything, all of the time. Add in other children, a husband, a dog, a house, a job, it all feels like too much at times. But wow...what a miracle it is at the same time. This little human who I get the opportunity to raise, and shape, and love.
As I stood there, soaking her in, I had a new appreciation for the true miracle that being a parent really is. An appreciation for being overwhelmed. Although the hard stuff doesn’t go away, the winters are still long, and the road is still bumpy, I found the most beautiful comfort in a very ordinary moment.
So, when you find yourself overwhelmed, tired, and feeling crazy... stop. Soak up the ordinary moments. The ordinary, hard, but important moments. I hope that you too will find the miracle of being a parent overwhelming, but in such a beautiful way.