Stolen Moments

Dear Munchkin and Peanut,

One morning a few months ago, Peanut woke up very early. I already felt like a wet noodle from an intense workout the night before, and having to get up with Peanut meant I only had about 5 hours of sleep. It was a day when Daddy would be gone until bedtime, too. I would be on my own with you except during my work hours, when the nanny would be taking care of you. I prayed for a special measure of Grace to get through the hours before she would arrive. If I could hang on until then, I could grab a quick nap before starting work.

The Lord answered my prayer, but as He often does, in an unexpected way.

The nanny called in sick.

At first, I was frantic. I called the agency she worked for to see how quickly a replacement could come, but when they told me it would have to be a sitter we’d never met before, I made a swift decision. There had been a lot of chaos in our lives in the weeks leading up to that day, including a string of new temporary sitters. You needed stability, not another new face.

I called a different sitter service we’d used a few times. By the time they were able to let me know a familiar sitter could arrive at 9:45 and stay until 3 p.m., I had already notified my boss I was taking the whole day off.

And with that, I let go. I was able to relax and enjoy those “stolen” moments.

We cuddled and read books together. Munchkin painted with watercolors while I patiently combed her hair into a ponytail. There was no rush, no stress. I was able to forget about work and focus on the two of you.

When the sitter arrived, I used the opportunity for some “me” time, knowing we’d still have the whole evening together. I took a nap, exercised, and savored a long, hot shower.  As the babysitter left, she passed a sleeping Peanut to me. He stirred slightly; I just held him and swayed for a while so he could settle back down. Munchkin ate a snack, then I put Peanut in bed and curled up on the couch with her to read her new Ladybug magazine. We fell asleep together.

Peanut woke about 30 minutes later, needing a diaper change, but clung to me every time I tried to put him down. We watched the neighbor kid mow our lawn for a few minutes until I felt the diaper leak. I knew it was inevitable, but in keeping with the day, didn’t stress over it. I just changed Peanut and my own pants.

We had a little snack together, then woke Munchkin with Sesame Street videos. As she watched, I put Peanut in the Ergo to get dinner ready and a few pieces of laundry put away. I was amazed how my choice to accept the day for what it was seemed to make it all easy. God granted me patience in abundance. (The naps probably did a world of good, too.)

After dinner, Munchkin invited Peanut to chase her around the kitchen; you ran circles around the island for quite a while, laughing and squealing. Usually we say no screaming in the house – inside voices only – but I felt so blessed to see you playing together like that. And your laughter, though quite loud, was contagious. I didn’t have the heart to make you stop until it was time to start settling down and getting ready for bed.

We read our daily Bible story and some more books, both of you wanting to be squarely in the middle of my lap. There was the potential for pushing and shoving, but it never got there. At one point Peanut forcibly squeezed himself between Munchkin and me, but I shifted slightly so you were both against my chest. I felt amazingly loved and hope you could feel how much I love you, too.

Daddy arrived as we were about to turn off the light. Munchkin said goodnight to him, then he took Peanut while Munchkin and I went back to her room. We said prayers, sang songs, and snuggled quietly in the rocking chair for a while: the perfect end to the perfect day.


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