The girls have been under the weather this week. Nothing intense, just runny noses, fevers, and crying. I love them so much and hate their pain, but after a few days of this my ability to keep smiling started to show its cracks and then shattered altogether.
I felt nothing less than frustrated and tired of the whole thing. I simply wanted five minutes when neither Micaela or Adela was stuck to my body, crying, or needing something. It felt like all my love was gone, seeped out of me like someone had poked a tiny hole in my heart and let it all drain out. There was nothing left but to simply make it through.
Their behaviors got worse even as their fevers lowered and their noses started to dry up. And every time I heard one of their little voices my hands would ball up into fists and I would consider bolting for the door.
It was time for me to start cooking supper--green chile stew and bread. And if they had a problem they were just going to have to survive for the next hour. I was done.
Stomping into the kitchen I began to put away dishes and clear the area for mixing dough. Like a wolf who scents meat on the air, Adela ran into the kitchen as I pulled out the tub of flour.
"Mama, estamos cocinando?" Are we cooking, she asked.
"No." I lied without thinking. "I'm not doing anything. Go watch Hercules."
But three-year olds were not born yesterday. She ran and grabbed her stool and began to "help". Help means that each spoon, each cup, each pat of butter must be put in by her hands, counted, and mixed. I looked at the clock. There was no way dinner would be done on time. Thanks for the help.
Micaela let out a angry cry. I went to help her get out from underneath an end table and settled her on the floor to play with a car.
"Delicious!" Adela's exclamation made my head come up and gaze upon my happy little monster. She had the cup I had used to sprinkle flour on the dough while kneading and was pouring it into her mouth.
And all I could think as I stared at her was, "I can't believe you are that happy."
I could just see it, in her eyes and in her heart, everything was just fine. She was content even if I wasn't emotionally being as strong today for her as I needed to be.
There is so much mercy in motherhood. I wonder how many angels hover over us, gently shelter our family, and help me make it from morning to night as we raise two little girls into caring and loving women. It seems like we can make big mistakes and harbor faulty habits and yet God finds a way to guide us out of things and protect our children.
There is so much mercy there. So much love from our Heavenly Father as he watches over our journey as parents and hears our prayers for our children.
I felt that peace stay with me the rest of day as Adela and I baked those loaves of bread and as I snuggled Micaela one last time before tucking her in the crib. God's shelter and protection rests over me and above my family.
May it rest upon you and yours as well.
And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
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"...and God was already there with me."