Big fat movie snowflakes are gracefully falling outside of my window this arcticly cold evening. I cannot believe it's December already. Well, maybe I can believe it, but I'm certainly not ready to embrace it. I'm not ready to unpack the boots, the fluffy down coats, gloves and scarves. And I dread all of the bundling and effort it takes to merely venture out of the house during the winter. But winter is here, and complaining about it isn't going to make it disappear, I tell myself as I watch the the flakes find rest on the grass. And while I know this, I cannot internalize it because I'm really still longing for the warmth of the summer sun.
Rewind to last week.
The boys are driving me up the wall and back down today. My two year old has constantly whined about everything since he woke up this morning and the baby has been abnormally fussy because he's battling a cold. Ugh. On top of the whining, the preschooler is clinging to me because the baby has decided since he doesn't feel well that his permanent residence for the day should consist of only my arms. I sit on the couch with the older one hanging off of my lap on one side of my body while rubbing my ear and the little one snuggled into my other arm. I cannot move. And I just want to do something, anything other than sit on the couch with two little ones clinging to me. I feel my patience begin to wane after about 20 more minutes. I long to have my body to myself and time to head over to the coffee shop, sip on some hot tea while it's still, um, hot and read a book that doesn't have to do with Spot the dog or George the monkey.
Fast forward to the next day.
I'm driving in the car listening to the low hum of the heaters while the boys are soundly sleeping. The baby is softly cooing while he sleeps and the preschooler is breathing deeply. As I'm listening to their little sounds, I smile and my heart urges my memory to breathe in this moment. Soon their little noises will change. And soon neither of them will fit in my arms. Soon, they'll be flying in and out of the door daily and driving their own cars. Soon I will find myself alone during the days while they are at school learning, dreaming and playing and socializing. I park the car at our destination and pause before I wake either sleeping child. I gaze on the softness of their faces and internally marvel at their beautiful innocence. Soon my baby's fat cheeks will disappear and slim into the trim face of a toddler. And soon, my preschooler's sentences will no longer host incorrect pronouns and mispronounced words. And soon the season will change.
It's the morning after our first big snowfall of the season. It's a brand new morning featuring the same set of crabby kids. The baby only wants to be snuggled in my arms and the preschooler is intent on cuddling next to mommy on the couch again while rubbing my ear. In that moment, I hear the Lord's voice warning me not to miss the beauty of the snow. Yes, it's cold. Yes, it's messy. Yes, it's hard. But it's also beautiful, and intricate and delicate and fragile. And this season is not going to last. So I can spend it wishing and hoping and praying for the summer sun, or I can embrace it, find the beauty and realize that this is the season God has given me now. And how I choose to spend it is completely just that -- my choice. I only need to embrace it and listen.