Last week was challenging for me. Very high temperatures and growing a human life have been successful at keeping my energy fairly low, or at least depleting it quickly. And now that I’ve started teaching, by the time I’m home with the boys (our school day ends at 1pm but starts at 7:30am) I feel done. I had little patience with Caleb and Micah and felt like I had nothing left in the tank to engage with them in a meaningful way and any interactions were dealing with behaviour. “No, flopping on the floor in a tantrum won’t get you what you want.” “No, lying down in the pile of sand for a sand bath is not a good idea. Don’t you know we’re trying to conserve water!” “I’m sorry I didn’t respond to your request a millisecond after you whined it to me. I will try to do better next time.” You know, that kind of thing. I felt embarrassed when we were out for dinner and they were being rambunctious while were were trying to have some grown up conversation. Really I should have just realized they are four, were up past their bedtime, hadn’t had much time with us and life as they know it has completely changed in the last two months. Sometimes I take for granted how remarkably well they’ve done with the transition and that maybe, just maybe they are still settling into their new life here.
All that to set the stage for Sunday morning. After getting up two hours later than I usually do (my love language is sleeping in!) I said good morning to everyone and opened my computer to check emails. In an ideal world, I would have kept the computer closed, asked my boys what they wanted to do and enjoyed a quiet morning of entering into their world but as I’m sure many of us find, sometimes it feels easier to choose the virtual connection over the one right in front of us. And I was fully aware I was doing it. Anyways, as I was looking at my email, Micah crawled up on the couch beside me and gently whispered in my ear, “Mommy, you’re exquisite.” My heart melted. Really? Did he actually just say that to me? Then he went into the kitchen, and whispered to Joel, “Mommy is exquisite.” (Before you are overly impressed with my son’s vocabulary, “exquisite” is a word he learned on Sesame Street’s word of the day, a brilliant feature of the show in my opinion. Ask him what it means and he’ll tell you it means “beautiful and special”.)
I am generally not a fan of cheesy Christian analogies and am not one to over-spiritualize things but as I reflected on my son’s words throughout the day, I couldn’t help but be reminded that that’s how God thinks of us. We are exquisite. It doesn’t matter how many times we’ve messed up and missed opportunities to love those around us. How he feels about us is not based on our performance. He delights in us, plain and simple. After feeling like I had failed many times over this past week, my son’s words were God’s grace to me and a reminder of how he sees us. You are exquisite!
Photo credits to my good friend Cheryl at Bamboo Life Photography