This morning Mary Bullock walked into the nursery where I was feeding Tucker. She had dressed herself in a pretty dress and had accessorized with an assortment of bracelets and plastic high heeled dress up shoes. She had done her own hair with hair bows on each side. They were slightly askew, yes. But she was so proud of herself. Her face radiated peace.
I’m going to a wedding, she said. I got a card so my whole family could come. Would you like to come, Mommy?
Other days are harder. Yesterday, after an early wake up and an exhausting morning at MOPS, she collapsed into a puddle of tears and screaming and refused to leave. She went to that dark, frustrating place where reason won’t pull her back to me, even if she could stop crying long enough to hear my voice.
Then she hit me. A couple of times, actually.
That was really hard to love.
After lunch and a two and half hour nap, she was all smiles again.
It’s hard to be four.
It’s also hard to be a four year old’s mama.
So on those mornings like this morning, when she’s smiling and rested and reasonable and uses her manners and not her fists, I think: I need to keep this. Drip all this sweet into a bottle, put a cork in it, and save it for a dark day. Then when her sky turns stormy, I will take it out, pour myself a glass, drink it in.
Just to keep things even.