Most days, nap time comes as a welcomed opportunity to get an emotional recharge. Today, I kept putting off nap time.
I've been looking forward to naptime all morning. In the moments when the noise and movement reached a fevered pitch and I felt my cool slipping, I'd picture naptime.
Not my naptime.
When I'd tuck littles into bed and send big boys off to their room for audiobooks and Legos. And I would have my time to sit and read and write and "get stuff done". But the appointed hour has come and I'm not moving to squirrel you off to your own corners of the house. It just rained and the five of you are all outside as the storm retreats and now the house is quiet and my book is right here next to me, but I find myself watching you out the window. I can't take my eyes off of you.
I can't take my eyes off of the sight of you in the backyard after that summer rain, relishing the wet grass under your bare feet, the momentary reprieve from the oppressive heat. One of you is fully dressed, one is shirtless, one has stripped to his undies and one is stark naked - your stages of undress are not in order of age, but of stages of self-awareness and I chuckle to myself as I realize this.
I can't take my eyes off of your lithe bodies as they make full use of their abilities; the way you crouch to throw the frisbee (who taught you to look so cool when you do that?), the joyful abandon as you swing the golf club against a nerf ball in some game who's rules only you know.
I can't take my eyes off the way you are talking to each other. I can't hear you through the glass, but I can see one of you cracking a joke, the other doubling over in laughter. I can see you cooing baby talk to your sister and it amazes me as I realize that you are people. Independent, creative, vivacious people. It's amazing how many times I can rediscover this fact, how many times it can awe me, as if for the first time.
I had big plans for "me time" this afternoon. And I'm not putting it off out of any kind of misplaced martyrdom. It's just that I literally can't tear my eyes away from the scene out my window.
Recently, I met a woman who is in town temporarily, seeking medical intervention for her comatose two-year-old daughter. So many times a day she comes to my mind and I whisper a prayer for her little girl. What would she give to have her "me time" interrupted by the rambunctious squeals of her daughter? She said to me tonight that as she lugs around all the gear needed to enable her baby girl to live, she is struck by the constant miracle of all that "gear" that works in a healthy person without them even having to give it a thought. Miracles, miracles everywhere.
There's a renegade crack of thunder that sends you all skittering towards me and I welcome you in - wet, muddy, jabbering a-mile-a-minute - and I hold you close thinking how thankful I am for this moment. Just this moment. This time, I got that coveted recharge of my emotional battery not from turning my attention to something else, but from stepping back and picturing you in a wider frame. One where bright eyes and waving arms and churning legs and ear-splitting squeals are nothing short of miraculous.