I always get on the merry-go-round. Even though my sons are old enough to ride on their own, I don’t want to miss the whirling spin, the teetering ride, melodic sounds. It’s my way of embracing the fun and enjoyment that God builds into life by giving me my children.  Whenever possible, I cross the sidelines into play. My kitchen window looks out over the yard, and many a day has begun with my arms in soapy waters filled with dishes only to be abandoned for a run around the yard, or a bounce in an inflatable house. When my youngest falls asleep in my arms, I don’t lay him down immediately. I breathe in deeply, the fragrance of his freshly washed halo of blonde hair and I cradle him close, taking the chance to kiss his forehead and thank God for the gift. It’s my habit to gaze in my rearview mirror whenever we drive somewhere, to see snaps of gorgeous eyes in the oval mirror, savoring the peaceful look of youth tucked into seats, unaware that I am watching. I brace myself for the extra half hour I will need to work in the kitchen as I invite 2 year old and 4 year old helpers. We work on combining unsavory ingredients into something delicious, and I refuse to fuss over spilled milk, flour, eggs, and salt. When a quivering voice calls out for the hundred and fifty ninth time that day, it will be met with as much care and concern as the first time. My children are my joy and pleasure, and each day is a new canvas for us to create a landscape of harmony and togetherness of hands and of heart. How can a mother be her best, especially when she may feel ill-equipped? She can open her senses to the wonder of youth and look fully into the moments that often become common-place but are actually small miracles meant to be cherished. Allow yourself to see through the eyes of your child, and enjoy every adventure!

How about you? In what ways can you slow down and enjoy your children and the world around you? 1 John 3:18, “Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.”

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