But children keep trickling in to ask how to spell "airplane" or "mom" and paper airplanes keep whizzing past me "on accident"and there was an argument over whose notebook was whose and whose airplane is faster. And I am tempted to be harsh with them, because the younger two are finally asleep and the computer is charged and I am awake all at the same time (a rarity these days) so please, for the love of all that is holy, just give me five minutes to sit down by myself. But instead I say "a-i-r-p-l-a-n-e" and shoo them back to their station. Because this too is the meat of life.
It is nursing Brennan in a parking lot while eating take-out, Emmy chirping "Hooray! Chicken nuggets!" as we wait for carpool to begin. Rotating boys in the barber shop and handing out ipads to those waiting in the car to achieve haircuts with minimal chaos during the witching hour. Scrambled eggs for dinner, again. Turning on a movie for the big kids and walking the block in front of our house over and over, Brennan on Brian's shoulder, so that Brian and I can discuss important family decisions uninterrupted while also putting the baby to sleep. It is the barrage of childhood illnesses, strep throat and colds and stomach bugs, trying to remember who can go back to school and who is still contagious. This, too, is the meat of life.
I want to share that moment with you, that tiny space between waking and sleeping when Brennan smiles as he closes his eyes. It is a precious sliver of stillness in our otherwise hectic day. But that sweetness lasts only a moment, and then Emmy is clamoring onto the bed and proclaiming, "Baby sleeping! SSSHH!! Baby sleeping!" while the boys attempt to jump from one couch to the next in the other room. In my better moments I smile instead of groan and remember how long I waited and prayed for this very moment, the chaos and frenetic pace of caring for four little ones simultaneously. And I thank God that I am living in the meat of life.