This week the kiddo’s eaten shop bought chicken nuggets dipped in ketchup. He’s also gone t-shirt less, watched hours not minutes of cartoons and voices have raised more than once. But then somehow inbetween cluster feeds and growing pains, I’ve got both boys to the park, we’ve baked cakes and made
uncontrolled messes of sensory play. We can now identify our knees and our toes, differentiate “under” from “over” and “next to”. We’ve burped gas up and added kilos, have learnt to open the fridge and pick grapes from a vine. We’ve learnt babies don’t really need bathing that a (good) scrub will do and scurvy doesn’t develop overnight. We’ve learnt that sometimes, too, you fail.
On Wednesday as I sat on a coffee-soaked floor hugging my eldest boy near, leaving the stains to sink in, in amongst the chaos of scattered building blocks, odd socks and pom-pom balls, M avidly reading page after page of books his eager hands had ripped earlier this week; as our fingers skimming selotape, mouths turning up in laughter, the moment intertwined in play and learning, I learnt that more often you win. Our life, in all of our chaos and mess, the fraying nerves and ripping books, the illogical reason of a reasonable toddler-framed mind and jet-lagged time frames of a newborn teeny one, in all of its madness is beauty. Coffee stains will come out eventually, their outlines will be indelible and we’ll be left with is the memory of our reactions, of our feelings as we watched the cup tip.
I used to believe that prayer was what you did when you didn’t know what else to do, when all else was lost and you called out for help. Now I know prayer is what you do when everything is there; when your heart is so full there’s nowhere else to send the thanks. I pray just because I can and that in itself is the gift.