I could tell you that it’s because I have ample things to complain about, but that’s not it. It’s that I am finely attuned to the minutia that has any potential to bother me.
I complain about my busy life, my occasionally absent minded husband, my neurotic sisters, an ingrown toenail… anything. Everything. I complain.
But recently, not as much.
Something magical happened to me a few days ago. I was watching my ten-month-old pull plastic vegetables out of the toy kitchen, with my three-year-old twins coloring on their easel. They were carefully picking up every dropped crayon, singing a neat little ditty I made up for them. “If there’s a crayon/on the floor/Rivka will find it/and put it in her mouth.” It’s catchy. And they were singing it, picking up their crayons, and occasionally looking over at their baby sister to grin and coo, “Isn’t that right, Rivkalah? You silly baby!” Rivka laughed and laughed, and returned to her minor destructions.
I drank a cold pop and breathed slowly, committing the scene to memory.
When I was Deborah and Sophia’s age, I knew I wanted to be a mommy someday. I knew I wanted to grow up and take care of little kids.
As I got older, I had other things I wanted to do. I still have other things I want to do. But whenever I contemplated parenthood, I imagined having a house full of little girls, about three or four years old. Playing dress up, singing songs, dancing in their pretty little dresses.
I imagined bigger kids looking out for their little siblings, and hugs, and kisses, and everybody happy.
And so, here I am. I find myself at the bottom of “hug piles,” the recipient of wet, giggly baby kisses at no notice. I am the eternal supervisor of the three happiest children I have ever known.
Yes, it’s occasionally chaos. There are days I just want to hide, days when I have a headache or I feel overwhelmed and just can’t arbitrate disputes over crappy cheap plastic jewelry any more. But more and more often, I find myself simply observing the three of them and feeling… happy.
Not just happy. It’s a different feeling. It’s pride and success and something more.
I don’t feel like I deserve to feel the sense of accomplishment that comes with just watching my children play. But it’s there. Each time Rivka moves another foot forward instead of rolling side to side, every time Deborah tells me she’s “girl Superman” and she’s fighting a monster, every time that Sophia “fixes” her toy sink with the Mjölnir from her daddy’s Thor costume, and every time one of them tells me she wants to be like me…
It’s narcissistic, but it fills me with intense joy. With pride beyond words.
Watching them play, standing back and letting them just… be kids together…
It’s incredible. It’s magical.
Watching Rivka watch her big sisters and mimic them, and then when she catches my eye and just grins at me…
Motherhood has never felt so gratifying.
Life has never felt so perfect.
And life is not perfect. There are still serious problems around here. Money problems, employment problems, health problems…
But life in general? It’s amazing.
This is what it’s all about. This is why I had kids. Watching them lose their heads with delight because their sunflower seeds are sprouting, because they sounded out a written word, because you walked into a room at just the right moment.
I don’t know if I will ever be as happy as I am now.
I have everything I ever truly wanted from life. I am utterly, completely, and constantly enveloped in love.
It’s an incredible feeling. To know that I’m living in what I will look back on at the end of my life as the happiest I have ever been. The happiest I will ever be.
No matter what happens, no matter what changes… my life will forever be better because of this. Because of this incredible, magical, perfect time.