toddler with marker on her face

It was one of those days.

The type that, if you’re a mom, you’re already nodding in silent solidarity.

The morning started with a tantrum over cartoons. Then little sister hit big sister (her new thing, apparently) and Lily flew into hysterics because her head hurt soooooo much. Then Sophie got her first time-out ever. And she sat on the floor, heels pressed to the wall, singing and acting like it was pretty cool actually. Which cracked me up. Until I went to pick her up and banged my hip on that dang edge of the kitchen island. The one that gets me just about every single time I pass by. And then I tripped on the dog. Who insists on staying IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ACTION ALL THE TIME ALWAYS.

And I looked up and saw that it wasn’t even 9:00 yet and how was I ever going to power through this day?

But I did. We did.

And while I rocked Sophie for her nap, in that beautiful little moment of peace, I exhaled and let it sink in. The flood of gratitude. How blessed I am to be a mother. Their mother. As she snuggled in, she reached her tiny hand up my shirt sleeve and began patting my arm. As if to say, you got this mom. Hang in there. And I smiled and sang another verse of You Are My Sunshine.

All was right with the world.

Until later that day when the chaos ramped back up. I plopped them down at the kitchen table with paper and markers so I could attempt to start dinner. And Sophie decided to decorate her face.

When I looked up from the cutting board time froze for a split second, and instead of freaking out, my brain decided to let me laugh. Which surprised me. Because despite the hot pink joker-grin stained onto Sophie’s cheeks and the rice boiling over on the stove, I could see in that moment the beauty that lies under the chaos. I’ve been trying really hard to see it. To hold onto it every single day, especially when I feel most frustrated.

I think it’s working.

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