I don't often use the word "blessed". It sounds kind of corny, and contrived, and quite a bit too "church lady" for my dominant cynical side. I don't "seek to be a blessing", or "count my blessings", though I have been known to issue the occasional "bless you" for my non-Gesundheit acquaintances.
However, I have been blessed. And this morning, there is just no way around admitting it.
When my alarm should have rung, my daughter's did. When my Baldwin babies burst through door at 7:00 AM, having enough enthusiasm to fill a stadium, my daughter was there to greet them. She fed them their breakfast, and offered them play dough. I lay in my nest and listened. I heard all the chirping and the questions, the squeals and the exclamations, and instead of doing all the replying, I listened to my daughter love on my day babies.
By 8:00 AM, my coffee maker was calling to me, and I ascended the stairs in flannels and rumpled hair. All my sweethearts were at the table, engaged in creative play. My big girlie was flipping pancakes and washing dishes and spinning all the plates. My coffee perked as I made my rounds kissing all their furry little heads and listening to their beautiful little stories.
But my ears were ringing, and my head ached, and my chest was burning. I was so grateful then, to leave them in her care and stand, all blissfully alone in the shower.
I had finally gotten sick. After weeks of nursing my day babies, dispensing their medications, pressing my cheek to their foreheads, covering them in blankies on the couch, my own resistence said- no. That's enough. And my nights turned into coughing festivals without the balloons and cotton candy. So for about the third time in the last nine years of caring for wee ones, I "called in sick". Arianna to the rescue.
And there's just no other word to really captured what I witnessed from my dark and cozy bed this morning, but a blessing.
My own beautiful baby girl. Saying- "mom. go back to sleep- I got this."
Making the pancakes and bacon for her brothers.
The peanut butter sandwiches and apple slices for the kiddos.
Playing the silly songs cd's all morning, even though she already knows her ABC's.
Cuddling the toddlers on her lap.
Handling the questions, the diapers, the screeching, the couch laps, the crayons, the play dough.
When my own kids were littles, and I was so tired, and so not entirely sure if I was doing okay by them or creating sociopaths, I used to wish for a report card. Some sort of evaluation with 37 kind things and one or 25 "room for growth's"
Well, nearly twenty years later, I got that card. And it was pretty darned exceptional and made me very, very proud.
And like it or not, I've got to say- I am. So blessed.