Monday, October 8, 2018
"You have a beautiful family ma'am." The waitress told me this morning, as we went out for breakfast to celebrate hubby coming home from one of the few trips he takes away from us each year. "And you look so happy."
I smiled, "Thank you. I am." .
A few minutes later a different waiter came by, "I'm not sure if you know--the elderly couple that just left paid for your meal." We looked around for them to thank them, but they were already gone.
Having a large(ish) family is best decisions I ever made. It's hard sometimes--but that's always true of parenting, no matter how many kids. These people bless me every day, from the 6 year old with her startlingly accurate evaluations of spiritual things, to the 3 month old and the way he meets my eyes, grins the sort of grin that makes the sun come out on cloudy days, then shoves a fist quite deliberately into his mouth ("Yeah, kid. I get you. Just a minute."). It's a sobering thing to be a parent and have all these miniature reflections of myself walking around, magnifying and reflecting back every personal spiritual struggle I have.
But also beautiful. I get to be there for the joyful, off key, 100 decibel (seriously, I measured) group renditions of "cockles and mussles" and "Marie's wedding." I get to be there for the dismayed shout as we are walking out of IHOP, "Ah! I left my shoes!" and see the grins from the waitresses as she darts barefoot under the table to collect the too-big hand-me-down shoes she wore because they were pretty (even though they fall off every 30 seconds.) I get to be there for the sunshine grins, the peanutbutter-sticky-hugs, and the "WHAT? Butterflies have SCALES like DRAGONS?" moments. Also the horrified look when the hear--for the first time--the doom pronounced on William Tell (then cheer when the apple is split in two).
So, yes. I'm happy. And one of these days, I want to be the elderly empty-nester couple that goes out once a week, gets a cheap breakfast of eggs and coffee, and secretly buys a young family their breakfast just for the heck of it. Because it's hard being a parent, but it is also one of the most beautiful things ever.