This is a picture taken from our car yesterday. I drove one of Hadley's preschool classmates home from school. This little girl and Hadley seem to be good buddies. We hear about her a lot at home. The other day, Hadley made her an "everything" card. I'm not sure what that is, but we sent it to school with Hadley so she could give it to her.
The ride was pretty uneventful. Nothing stressful or crazy or anything like that happened. But I wanted to take a picture of it because it was a moment where I felt complete happiness that I get to be a mom. You can see how happy the girls are in the picture, and maybe that's part of it. The conversation on the ride home was so funny. First, Hadley was yelling at her friend as though she was across the street. I think since she couldn't completely turn around, Hadley figured she needed to talk really loudly so she would hear her. Second, it was like trying to follow a ball in a pin ball game. Hadley and her friend were talking about what shows they liked to watch. Hadley's friend said a show called "Maggie" was her favorite. Hadley says, "There's a Maggie at Children's Worship at my church!" Harper wanted to get in on this too and for the duration of the ride would ask, "Do you like my Dora shoes?"
I just got to sit back and listen to it. Maybe that's where part of the happiness came from: the fact that I wasn't the one who had to follow these trains of thought and try and contribute to a conversation that I have no clue what it's about. I love spending time with my girls, but it can be really tiring breaking up fights, or playing a game when the rules constantly change, or constantly reminding one of them to make sure the toilet paper goes in the toilet.
But I think the other part of my happiness came from being an invisible spectator into an experience of my children's lives. I got to see for a few minutes, what they can do without me guiding them. I got to listen to my children's beautiful voices without concern for what comes next.
I like to make sure things are in order. I like routines and schedules. I probably like these things too much, but it's the way I manage my life. There is joy for me in a well thought out plan, and where my children are involved, my need for order multiplies. But I can't plan for moments like this, just like I can't plan for moments when the three of us take a late night trip to the ER because of a busted lip. I don't think knowing that will make me any less passionate about being organized. But being in the car with three little girls yesterday was a nice reminder of what grace is all about. I don't like to sound trite or hallmark-y, but looking at this picture and thinking back on this small portion of our day together I see God's grace. It's kind of like He tapped me on the shoulder while I was driving and said, "Hey! HEY! You don't have to do anything but drive right now. And how hysterical is the stuff that's going on in the back seat?"