Do you ever find yourself being bombarded with unexpected questions whenever you open up a story book, ride in the car without the radio on, or gather around the table to try to eat?
I am always amazed at the questions, thoughts, and observations that my kids connect the dots to in these simple activities.
I think perhaps thats why my brain feels almost flat at the end of the day. Like shut down mode is eminent because I've answered too many questions for the day. Sometimes I'm lamenting it when it goes too far off topic and we never seem to finish a conversation making my brain feel pulled in five different ways; however, I love it nonetheless because it lets me peek into the beautiful minds God has given them and lets me peer into their hearts.
At dinner Monday night the usual rapid fire conversation was going around the table. Meredith looked at me in between bites and said matter of factly, "I want to relive my life again."
I'm wondering if this is a good statement or a seven year old already mourning missed opportunities...
A smile tugged at the corners of my mouth and I raised an eyebrow, "Oh really?"
She nodded seriously. "I want to ....."
And then she listed off special times she had shared that she would like to revisit.
They were simple every day moments too. Nothing grandiose. Just love moments that were tucked into the normal heartbeat of life.
Madelyn agreed, "Well, I want to relive only the good moments." (The realist) And I smirked because that was so true to her. She doesn't possess all the idealism that Meredith does.
It is interesting to see that when the dust settles in busy days or even uncertain times I had a child that wanted to relive her life because it was good and she loved it.
I thought about her words the rest of the day because sometimes when I see the way I handle situations, missed opportunities, or seasons of my life that I seem dried out and not bringing my best to the table I fail to see the goodness that was happening anyways.
That little sentence was a great gift to me and a window into the way my daughter saw her life, her world.
For all the ways I have failed her and I have, she was still looking at her memories with optimism and thankfulness...and shockingly a wish to go back...
I let myself slide back into those moments she mentioned and nodded. We had shared beautiful moments together over the past seven years and many times I fail to remember them because I'm too critical of my own failures. I was surprised to see that she did not hold the same judgment on me that I did.
As we finished the meal we "relived" a couple more memories and my mind flashed back to her toddler self sitting precariously on sliding mountains of books as she emptied out her book shelf and decided they were the perfect perch to flip through another book. The hour I spent reading to her every night before bed because that was the single thing she loved most. We laughed about the way the tip of her left ear doesn't curve down and I smiled into her eyes and said, "Meredith that was the first thing I noticed about you as I held you for the first time. I love your special little ear." She beamed a freckled smile at me. She talked about our old house and said, "That house felt like coming home. I always feel like coming home when I go there." I had to nod and agree that they had filled that little house with so many memories and it was clear that the tiny house was the canvas for most the pictures of their little lives that hung in their hearts gallery.
That night as everyone was asleep, but Meredith (who does not specialize in sleep) I read to her out of her poetry book. She smiled at different silly ones and we ended with one that both of us tried to dissect and understand. I closed the book and her eyes fringed with thick lashes slowly shut, "I like this new place we live too. And mom I love you." A hush fell over the room as sleep swept over her and the small room swelled with her gratitude for her simple little life.
I bent over to kiss her baby soft cheek and I felt like I was in a sacred moment.
A window for the way my kids saw their life and some grace to view our life with and our own shortcomings. It was okay. We weren't completely messing up. And there was gratitude and joy resting beneath the sheets and in the heart of my little seven year old. It also showed me that I am too critical. I see with a skewed perspective many times because I'm too serious and too hard on myself. I forget to be joyful because I see the faults and not the victories. I needed to see my life more through the fresh and forgiving eyes of a seven year old. And I needed to be reminded that life is most of the times beautiful in the most ordinary of moments. Those little moments stringed together are what make up my life and my kids childhood.