Have you ever desired for life to remain exactly the same, yet yearned, simultaneously, for more? For some addition, or, on rarer days, a teensy bit of multiplication?
My oldest son is now seven years old, a fact that makes me shudder and lift my praise hands, two opposite reactions that, I’m willing to bet, make all the sense in the world to the mamas in the room.
My youngest son is four-and-a-half, officially now, and each time his little index finger crinkles in size to indicate that newly-minted “half,” I again marry goosebumps with exaltations.
My husband of nearly nine years looked at me, our car temporarily stopped after a tough night of coach-pitch baseball, and said he might, maybe, perhaps be ready to entertain the idea of not coaching our oldest son’s various athletic endeavors and, instead, invest, like he did with Lionel, in teaching the fundamentals to our younger son Quincy and his future teammates. Though I know that feeling may be fleeting and can quickly shift, like any spoken-aloud thought in parenting tends to do, this potential mark of “the end of an era,” so to speak, is remarkable in its bittersweetness.
So what is it that I would add? What would I, on the best of the best of days, like to multiply?
Boundless, joyful, intense love for my husband, from my husband.
Unparalleled, fill-me-up, frustrate-me love for my children, from my children.
Saucy, messy moments with my family, alongside a hearty cup-full of rosy, ordinary memories, folded in like flour in my grandmother’s banana bread recipe.
I want more of the fleeting moments.
I want to mop up the melancholy and squeeze out the sweet.
I want this routine to multiply, just one more time.
And yet, in the same frame, I pause the action.
I meet my husband’s playful yet tired green eyes with a similar tender exhaustion in my own. I survey the beginnings of a beaming smile from my oldest son, paired with the burgeoning giggle of my youngest boy, and as I take in this, a holy moment in the eyes of a mama, this Mama, I will for this pause to never cease, for nothing to be altered, here and forever more.
For this is ordinary, and that, in itself, makes it perfect.