At 11:45 all three (presently accounted for) occupants of my house were in tears because at 11:40 I had literally screamed at Reagan. I. Had. Had. It. Me, screaming at her, the one I had begged for. It never seems right. It never is.
But it happened. I fell short of my God-given role and unleashed a furious rant about keeping her bucket of junk (ie: tiny toys not for Maddie's consumption) out of reach. She responded just the same way I spoke to her. So I plunked Maddie in her highchair with a few frozen teething rings and sent us to our rooms. Wherein there were tears.
"I can't do this! Why did you choose this for me?" I whisper, trying to make sure He hears me but she doesn't. Maddie voices her disapproval of our separation from the dining room. I wipe tears from my eyes. And without hearing an answer to my question, I get up and go to Reagan's room.
She is sprawled out on her bed just the way I was on mine. She hears my footsteps and lifts her sobbing head off the bed. I gather her into my arms, she lays her head on my shoulder. And I wrap my arms around her. I say lots of words of explanation, but then I utter the ones I most needed to say - the ones she most needed to hear, "I'm sorry." She holds on and doesn't let go.
We eat our lunch in silence - every one of us silent. This never happens. But there has been so much noise in the last 20 minutes that not one of us could take another minute of chatter or singing or talking or worse. So we eat. We drink in the quiet. And then we read about Joseph and his cruel brothers - the ones that hated him and tried to hurt him. Reagan's brow furrows as she tries to understand. I read a prayer asking God to help us to be kind to one another. She adds her petition to the end of mine. And we get up to go start fresh.
Soon after she finds a toy that has been missing for weeks. She brings it to me and says, "Mommy! Look!" I smile at her and say, "Oh good! You found it!" She stares at it in wonder and says "Its the most beautiful I ever seen!" Its her catch phrase. She used it to describe the "crunchy carrots" Daddy brought home from the grocery store last night too. She uses it for so so many things. Even, sometimes, me.
I love her wonder. I love the way she doesn't have all the junk of this world distorting her idea of beauty. I love the way she takes time to soak life in. And even when the day is certainly NOT the most beautiful day anyone has ever seen, she can still find something to love, admire, or wonder about.
Her simple joys are often the glue that holds our crumbling days together. And today, once again, I know that He chose her for me. The reasons why don't matter. Simply living each day as best I can - tears, apologies and wonders included - makes this life the most beautiful I ever seen. I'm glad I have it, even when I've had it.