I watched as her little arms reached as far as they possibly could, almost begging him to pick her up, and then smiled as my husband bent down and swept her up in his arms. We had nursery duty at church Sunday morning and as usual, the little girls had Mr. Tom wrapped around their little finger. I was cuddling a sweet baby girl on the rocking chair who was missing her Momma something fierce, so it was easy to observe all that was going on. Our youngest son was helping out having a great time holding a little boy who shares his name and is able to speak volumes without saying a word with those gorgeous eyes of his. There’s another little boy who has the most luxurious eyelashes; they’re full, long and perfectly curved upward - almost touching his eyelids - he's a cutie and his entire face lights up when he smiles. Two little girls were vying for Mr. Tom’s attention and there were many moments he had both of them on his lap. If one got him to read a book to her, the other made sure she was sitting right next to him; and if the other had his full attention, he was made aware that his attention belonged elsewhere. It was comical seeing how they, almost without saying a word, were able to control him for an entire hour by playing with toys and reading books.
Later that day we attended a birthday party for a little boy who shares, and maybe even exceeds, my love of chocolate. I’ve watched, on several occasions, as he carefully slips into his mother’s arms, looks her straight in the eye as his little hand caresses her cheek and says, “Momma, can I just have one piece of candy – just one?” This is said in the absolute sweetest voice you’ve ever heard, and then after getting a piece is back ten minutes later saying the exact same thing. It’s a wonder he’s not a 70 lb. three year old as, not only is he sweet, but he’s about as cute as they come! This birthday party had it all, a beautiful day, a huge yard, tons of food, games, and to the delight of the kids (and some adults), a craft project making marshmallow shooters. I once again observed my husband spending quite a bit of time helping the little ones make their shooter and then laughing with them as the marshmallows went flying in the air.
He then, as he typically does, began cleaning up when the marshmallows were gone and the kids left the table. He almost can’t help himself thinking that it would be horrible if those marshmallows ended up on the bottom of someone’s shoes making their way into the house only to be stuck to the floor. He’s gotten much better as he’s gotten older. There was a time he was a bit, I’ll use the word “passionate,” about dirt being tracked into our house. Although he’s still aware, he certainly realizes dirt can be cleaned and there’s something special about allowing children to be children and recognizing that children can get dirty – sometimes REALLY dirty. Why is it that we are often in mid-life before we see that we’ve stressed out over things that in the “big picture” don’t make any difference? Thankfully, we’ve both learned several lessons since our kids were young; and I’m sure we’ll hear it from our boys when their children are able to do many things they were reprimanded for.
My husband isn't perfect, but then again, neither am I. What I've learned, is that we're perfect for each other. We left the party and I couldn’t help but smile as we walked hand in hand up the driveway to our car. This lazy afternoon of friends and socializing was just what I needed – a reminder to sit back, enjoy beautiful days, recognize that it's ok to get dirty doing something crazy once in a while, and remember that fun isn’t something only children should be having.