He woke me up at three this morning. He wanted a shirt, and I said no way. He woke me up at three a.m. I crawled back in bed, and the man beside me said he's probably cold. Tough. He woke me up. At three. A moment later I knew it was true, and I was being a bad mother for leaving him like that. I fumbled around the closet and found his jammie shirt. He was already sleeping again. I pulled his shirt onto his sleepy body and tucked covers up to his neck. He woke again, but this time he was "allowed." It was within my "acceptable wake up time." But he was singing for his papa at the top of his lungs, so I greeted him with a harsh "shhh!" rather than the smile he deserved. His brother and sister were still sleeping, and he wasn't being considerate. I carried him downstairs on my hip and set him in a chair to watch me prepare breakfast. He asked questions and told stories, and again he was too loud. He wanted to make me smile. All I could think about was a couple more moments of quiet slipping out of my reach. This is the ugly me.
And yet. There is redemption even for me.
I sit on the back of the four-wheeler, large belly forcing me to lean back and observe. I see the boy whose skin will be forever caramelized by the sun because he refuses shirts and shoes. He wants nothing between him and the dirt or grass or sun or rain. I see the girl with the wild twists that always need more care. She sees it all. She notices the butterfly floating on paper-thin wings through golden light and the delight in her brothers' eyes, and she sees that I am...finally...seeing too. I see my little one who woke me up at three in the morning. To him everything is good. He grasps at the air, hoping to catch the wind. To him this is a good day. To him the whole world is good, and he always has a reason to laugh.
Can I believe it? Can I believe it's a good day? Can I accept the redemption? That despite my ugliness only hours before, the day is still good? For him I must. I must not forever mourn the moments I lost. I must see the moment I have and call it good.