I was doing that thing this morning.
And my husband called me out on it.
You know the thing. That thing... when you find yourself stuck inside your own head a little (a lot?). And without full awareness, you're closing cabinets in the kitchen with some slam behind your swing. And when the chaos in the house rises, you snap in a way you usually don't. And when someone (watch out husband) is brave enough to engage, you respond with curt short phrases and minimal eye contact.
That thing. I loathe that thing. And still sometimes, I find myself hanging on to that thing so tightly.
But when called out on it, with kindness and love, that thing can crumble pretty quickly. Because that thing, it's almost always rooted in some kind of hurt.
So when he reached for my hand and asked what it was, what it really was, the tears fell.
It's this season.
It's this precious season.
And it's a million little goodbyes to it all as we journey through.
We're packing up Christmas. Getting the kids ready to return to school this week. And I'm standing in front of the Christmas tree. I'm looking at games still laid out on the carpet. I'm listening to the sounds of their voices. I'm smelling lunch from the kitchen. I'm watching snow fall and knowing the kids will soon be jumping through it.
And I want to just hit pause.
I want this season. This holiday season yes, but really this season of life with four crazy kids still under our roof, to all move a little slower.
This life that brings me to my knees sometimes, that uses up my last shred of patience sometimes, that stretches me in ways I couldn't have imagined sometimes... it's exactly what I prayed for. It's exactly what I'm immeasurably thankful for.
And some days... like the days we're packing up another Christmas. Like the days the pace of it all lays bare to be seen. Some days... those little goodbyes, they just hurt a bit as they settle into the soul.
And I can hear my prayers whisper - let this day, let this season, linger a little longer.
Let my eyes and heart soak in what's before me, even as a blink turns it into the past.
Let me remember when I get stuck "doing that thing," that the ache is just another little goodbye to something held ever so dearly.
It's okay to feel all that. Raising kids is full of big feels because it's full of big love.
So in the spirit of less kitchen cabinet slamming, and more owning the emotions of a good story...
Goodbye to another Christmas. Goodbye to another small piece of this cherished season of life with our children.... I am so grateful.