There are so many times when you are dealing with some parenting challenge where you just keep focused on that light at the end of the tunnel. And sometimes you get a moment where you realize you are totally standing there in the bright wide open.
Saturday evening I found myself right in the heart of the good part. M.G. and I had decided to walk, just the two of us, to 5 PM church together in the lightly falling snow. She wanted to sit in the front so that she could really follow along and she was on her best behavior. She's gotten to an age where having her there did not make it any more challenging than if she would have stayed home, so I was able to fully pay attention too. Then we walked home, throwing snowballs at each other and laughing.
It had been a long Saturday. The snow days last week were fun, but just two days of school were not enough to get us into our normal routine. Everyone seemed over-tired and sick this weekend. Papa and I decided we'd each go to church on our own at different times so that the sick kiddos could stay at home and keep the germs to themselves.
By 4:30 PM, M2 was collapsing in an over-tired, hysteric fit and it had been snowing all day. The last thing I wanted to do was drive the car in the mess or push supper back.
But it was mild outside, M.G. seemed to be feeling better, and we had just enough time to walk. We decided Papa and M2 could eat without us and hopefully M2 would be sleeping by the time we got back. We pulled on boots, hats, and coats and set off on an adventure.
In church it was so relaxing to have that one-on-one time with M.G. She pulled my arm around her shoulder at one point and looked up at me while she tried to get all the words to the creed. Instantly I remembered the months in Illinois where each week I spent a good bit of the service holding her - a really loud, fussy baby- in the entryway. Never then did I realize how quick that portion of her life would be. I remember trying to keep her calm, pressing my cheek to hers and looking through the glass doors, whispering the prayers into her ear and trying my best to listen.
We enjoyed the walk home, which ended with me throwing her into a snowbank. M2 and M3 had fallen asleep and we were able to have a quiet supper with Papa. She got ready for bed without any drama and was quickly asleep.
Of course today we were right back in the middle of all the little challenges, (Why would yelling, "M2 is still awake. I don't think he is going to nap today!" seem like a good idea?!) but for a few hours last night I could see where we were going, where we had been, and it felt exactly perfect.