Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Apple of my Eye

Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings – Psalms 17:2

One of my very favorite things about being a stay-at-home mom is that mornings are so laid-back. The school-aged children know how to get themselves ready, and the bus stop is right at the end of my driveway. They kiss me and my husband goodbye and we go back to sleep, cozy and warm, until we are good and ready to start our day.

My three-year-old, now nap-free, goes to sleep at the same time as the older children and sleeps until around 9 a.m. She comes into our room and climbs between us, where we snuggle as our brains come to life.

On my husband’s side of the bed I have set up his favorite mementos: some Star Trek stuff, and a picture of our three older kids in front of the old Shea Stadium, circa 2005. Every time I dust, I think of replacing it with one that includes all the children, but I just can’t bring myself to put his beloved Shea away in a box.

This morning after my husband rolls out of bed she studies his personal belongings and declares, “Mommy, I not in there!”

I think about the significance of her statement.

He comes back over and I say, “Tell Daddy what you said about the picture.”

“Daddy, I not in there!”

“You weren’t born yet,” he explains.

“But - why I not in there?”

We are at a loss for words and answer by giving her some more morning snuggles.

An old saying comes back to me. Old friends of my parents used to say to me, “I knew you when you were the apple in your mother’s (or father’s) eye.” That statement puzzled me as a child. Then I learned in General Psychology that the pupils dilate when one is in the early stages of romantic attraction, and the saying became clear.

Although I always had the number four in my head for the number of children I would have, as a couple we have taken things one kid at a time. We never knew how many we would have – we still don’t know – but God always knew.

So in a larger sense, this little three-year-old was there in that picture. She was the apple in my eye, and in her father’s eye, and a plan in God’s eye. They always were, and always will be.


Charlotte said...

That's a beautiful painting.

Kaylan said...

Oh, if only my mornings were like that! We have five children. The two youngest want to immediately get up and the baby still rises twice a night. How I miss sleep! Motherhood is wonderful but I don't think I've had a good night sleep for over 11 years.

Elizabeth Kathryn Gerold-Miller said...

Kaylan, it will get better, I promise! I always feel sleep deprived for the first 2 years. Then it takes several months of regular sleeping hours for my body to "catch up" and finally I feel like myself again. Your baby is still little (from your lovely fb pic)so do your best to enjoy it while it lasts.

Warren Baldwin said...

Linked here from Carmine's site. Very nice article. I am a father of 3 kids, and I know that each one of mine wants to be regarded as "included," but even special in some way. They all are. Good post.