Eyes to See

Eyes to See Oh, Owen.
This morning was a train wreck.

Though I know better, I couldn’t drag myself out from under our flannel sheets until just minutes before your dad had to leave for work. When I heard him putting shoes on, I knew things were about to get real.

I jumped out of bed and heard Elsa stirring. My shower was over all too soon, and as I dried off, I heard her squawking like the hungry baby bird she is. I started nursing her as your dad walked out the door, and there I was stuck. My stomach growling, not a drop of coffee in me, and you kept asking me play!color!blocks!books!cheerios! over and over again for the next half hour while she ate.

I had that headache again. That kind that sits just behind your eyes.

You were whiny, on the fifth day of a nasty cold, and cried like a tortured prisoner every time I wiped your nose. The tripped over toys, your unending underfootness. I was simply unprepared to be a mom today, crabby at the gray skies and the snow falling so coldly this late in March.

By 11 a.m., it was time to try something new. We had to get out. All the bundling up took us over twenty minutes, but we finally stepped out the back door. You ran for our back gate like that released prisoner, and I, with Elsa heavy in the Moby wrap, chased after you.

I stooped to hold your hand while crossing the street. I took deep breaths, trying to inhale patience, while you stopped every 3 feet to pick up a “noball” from the icy banks on the side of the sidewalk.

But then, this.

grass I turn around, ready to instruct you to keep going! let’s keep walking! But you are stopped short. The snow has melted part of the snowbank away, and there is maybe 8 inches of muddy, leafy yellowed grass next to the sidewalk. And you are in awe.

I ask you, “Do you want to walk on the grass?”

And you jump onto it, literally yelling “Yay!” like in some made-for-TV movie. You are beyond excited as you stomp on the grass, until it runs out into icy sidewalk again. Ten steps later there is another patch, then another. And at each one, you immediately jump off the sidewalk and onto that grass, excitedly clapping your mittened hands.

Perhaps some part of your little subconscious remembers spring and knows that these are the baby steps into the changing of seasons, these infrequent spaces where the snow has melted. Perhaps not. But either way, you are unfazed by the sidewalk’s icy puddles, and the 2-foot graying snowbanks on either side. What you see is the grass.


And I am reminded, again, that it’s all in what we choose to look at. The toys scattered over every square inch of our house? That is a kind of wealth that most in the world do not know. The dirty dishes endlessly piling up in the sink? We are fed. Those moments when both kids are crying and needing more of me than there is? I have kids, two of them, when there was once a time I wasn’t sure if I would have any.

And so, I slow down our pace, and we walk an extra block out of the way, because you are overjoyed. Your boots are covered in mud, and there is an endless stream coming out of your nose, but you are red-cheeked and smiling.

The rest of this day will not be a train wreck, for I refuse to see it that way.



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14 thoughts on “Eyes to See

  1. i needed this today, with two puking 16 month old toddlers and a husband who started a new job, traveling every week away from home. my soul has been restless for fresh air and some sort of ‘new beginning.’ but i too often forget…isn’t my new beginning…every additional hour i am granted on this earth? and the husband…who works and makes us more than enough money to go to the grocery store and choose from the abundance of food and options that others only dream of having. perspective. you are right. it’s all about a perspective shift and seeing the blessings. looking for them. because that’s often all it takes…seeing the gifts already given. thank you and prayers for peace and blessings in your hours and days to come! >

    • Jaclyn – I’m glad these words found you and gave you a bit of encouragement….but two puking toddlers and a traveling husband? That is rough, lady! Hope things are looking up and that you’re getting some rest in each day!

  2. I usually come here for your recipes but this post really struck me. It’s beautifully written and the perfect reminder to find enjoyment in every single day. Thanks for sharing!

  3. You did it. You figured it out. Grace. It’s there in every single moment. We just need to find it. But it’s there … I promise.
    I wish I had been able to see it when my kiddies were smaller, but I’ve tried really hard to find it now. To laugh in the moments when the funny is there … but just not as prominent. To enjoy the puddle-jumping-in-church-clothes … they can be washed. To actually enjoy the laundry … my family is active.
    Yes. Grace in every moment. You found it!

    • It’s a struggle to live in that grace day by day, isn’t it? Glad you’re working to bring that into your family in the here and now – I’m sure your kiddos sense and love it!

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