I woke up this morning to a baby who was all smiles. To a little boy pouncing on my bed like a miniature tigger. They got me chocolates and perfume; things that mothers love receiving as presents on their special day.
We go to church and head out into the country for a picnic.
The park we plan to visit is closed, so after Trevor and I have our typical what-are-we-going-to-do-now heated discussion, we find a little meadow on the edge of a cliff filled with last year's briars and wild animal feces.
We unfurl our blanket and huddle together, gnawing on buns with cheese and chips.
Aidan informs us that this is where bears come to poop when people aren't around.
I'm pretty sure he's correct in his assumption.
Trevor yells something at the top of his lungs to "scare the bears away" and wakes up Ainsley in the process.
The more we think about bears, the faster we eat. My feet are falling asleep from sitting on the ground, so I'm seriously questioning my ability to run away should a bear actually make a cameo appearance.
Soon we make our way back to the van and eat our dessert while sitting on the dusty rear bumper while watching Aidan throw rocks off the cliff.
It wasn't what I planned for Mother's Day lunch. Not exactly what I imagined.
But imperfection is comfortable for us. It fits like a well worn sweatshirt. When things go exactly as planned, I feel fidgety, anxious.
I'm getting used to accepting that I won't be a perfect mom.
I always wanted kids. I wanted to be a mom. A good one, too.
I never imagined that it would be so difficult. It's easy to ensure children survive, but to be a mom that they'll be thankful for when they're older, that's a bit harder.
I didn't expect this journey to be so hard. To feel like such a failure at times. I didn't expect my kids to be so destructive. So needy. So frustrating.
But I also didn't expect them to be so amazing.
The brightness in their eyes that beams out love- that's for me. Their incessant need to be close; for hugs and kisses, cuddles and caresses, keeps my heart warm.
The priceless words that tumble out of Aidan's mouth sometimes make me catch my breath in awe. How did he come up with that?
The bursts of personality and determination that spill out of my little baby girl cause me to wonder how I have been chosen to hold these tender lives in my hand.
Imperfection. Beautiful, beautiful imperfection. A glimpse at the reason God never gave up on humanity.
We walked into a restaurant tonight- Aidan was wearing a long-sleeved t-shirt, shorts, and snow boots. Ainsley had ripped off both her socks and had them stuffed in her mouth. Her hair was sticking up defiantly in more than one location from a long afternoon nap.
They both wore silly grins as we spent cherished family time around our table. Aidan sat coloring while Ainsley gleefully smashed blueberries into her shirt.
I'm beginning to understand how love is messy. And not just in the I-had-to-sweep-the-floor-five-times-today sense.
I am a part of a family filled with amazing, gifted, beautiful, frustrating people. Because we are all imperfect. All broken, smudged, marred in some way. Yet all created in the image of the One who loves us. Holding the hope of perfection in eternity with Him.
So I look at my children- snow boots, dirt smudges, and stained clothes. Bright eyes, wide smiles, pure hearts. Sincere prayers and ugly words. Laughing, wailing, and whispering secrets in my ear. Affectionate, obstinate, and overwhelming.
And they are beautiful.
And I am thankful.