Freckles. Noah has freckles.
You can't really see them here, but they are mostly on his nose. I saw them this morning when we were laying face to face on the couch together - talking. I guess I knew he had freckles. But I forgot? Failed to notice lately? I don't know. What I do know is that I looked at his face and thought, "He has freckles!". How distracted do you have to be to not notice that your firstborn has freckles? Or to forget, or whatever. How much of a fog do you have to be in to look at the really dark freckle right above his lip and think "Has that always been there?". How busy must a mother be if she can't remember the last time she lay down face to face with her child just to chat and make sure he knows just how much he is loved? I submit that one must be too busy. Too distracted.
When I was a kid, my dad had the unfortunate task of waking me up each morning. If you know me, you know it was like trying to wake someone from a coma. If you know my dad, you won't be surprised to know he always did it with a song. THE SAME SONG. EVERY MORNING. In the moment it just made me want to pull the covers over my head and go back to sleep. But deep down I loved it. I loved that I had a dad who woke me up with a song rather than the harsh words I deserved for being so slow to respond. I loved the consistency. I loved the gentle nature of it.
I am becoming more and more aware of the fact that I have been in a "mommy coma" for too long. Remember the freckles? Remember the really dark one right above his lip? I actually tried to scratch it off, desperately needing for it to be food or anything besides something that had likely been there all of his life.
I have become so bogged down in my tasks. So deadened by my routine. I've wandered so far off the path that I set out to follow on this journey. I've pursued perfection instead of playing. I've traded time for tidyness. I've spent too little time caring and too much time controlling. I've let life get in the way of love.
But today.... today I have noticed chubby knees and blue eyes. I've had a pillow fight. I read a book about ants to 3 children on the couch while the sun from the window warmed us up. I let a 9 year old bake muffins by himself. I cherished the uncontrollable laughter of a spunky 4 year old. I've tackled. I've tickled. I saw his freckles.
Once again, my Father is waking me up. Praise God! He is waking me up! I'm slowly but surely waking up out of my mommy coma. And He is doing it gently. And consistently. Even though I have been so slow to respond and sometimes want to pull the covers back over my head. And he does it with a song. 3 beautiful songs in fact. They are my children.
My friends and family reading this may be tempted to reply with "You're way too hard on yourself." But I know the fog. And I'm not saying that I haven't been a good mother. I'm a good mother. The thing is, I'm not so sure it's my kids who have been missing out. The fog has robbed ME of the joy that being a mother can bring.
I'm just so thankful that today the fog was lifted high enough for me to see those freckles. I wonder what I'll discover tomorrow?