I’m mixing ground beef with eggs and breadcrumbs, shaping it into patties. Art’s at work, Pandora is providing a soundtrack to my early evening, and outside the wind whips and passing cars’ headlights reveal the fine snow blowing from the sky.
The kids are playing hide and seek. I listen as Stinky counts to twenty, hear the snicker of Bubs hiding in the closet. Then– “READY OR NOT, HERE WE COME!” and the searching begins. “Where should we look, Squeezy? Where’s Bubs?” His voice is patient and sweet. He lets her guide him upstairs, knowing full well where their brother hides. Finally after many two-year-old detours past the dollies and the book about Alice and the button that sings the ABC song, he gently points her in the right direction and SURPRISE! Bubs has been found.
Later, with the hamburgers sizzling on the stove, I slice tomatoes as Bubs guides Squeezy in the proper deployment of a Nerf gun. “See? You just put the dart here, and then you pull this back. Good job! Now aim at the window. Ready? Pull the trigger!” She is six inches from the window and the dart bounces off and flies over her head and we all laugh.
I am not a perfect mother. I look in the mirror of my children every day and see my own failings written across their freckled noses, their bespectacled eyes, their grinning mouths. I hear my weaknesses in their voices and my struggles in their shrieks of anger. And so I know this. This little family of ours– these boys who so passionately and patiently love their little sister– this is nothing but a gift of His grace.
And it makes me smile.
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