When the nap time bell rang on an ordinary Saturday, I grabbed my purse and headed out to do some errands. Alone. Everyone was safely tucked into their beds, and I could take some time to breathe. As I climbed into my car, I reveled in the silence. No questions, no requests, just peace and quiet. I could hear myself think. I could actually complete a thought. Such a novel concept to a mother, especially one with three little ones. I picked up my mom along the way, and we headed to the store.

It was nice to just jump out of the car. There was no stroller to unfold, no jackets to put on, and no snacks to organize. No one needed to grab a book, or a toy, or a leaf before we went into the store. We chatted away finishing every conversation that we started as we wandered the aisles. I selected whatever I thought was a good choice. I wasn’t responding to any petitions as to why we HAD to HAVE that snack versus another. I chose what I wanted and would arrive home the hero because I had gotten something new anyway! There was no need to stop for a potty break or any other type of break. It was just so nice, and I was sure my mom felt the same way. I would soon find out she did, but for a reason I never expected.

As we loaded everything up and climbed back into the car, my mom said something that spoke straight to my heart:

“I know this was so nice for you because you are never alone, but it was so nice for me too because I am always alone.”

She had lived this season already. This season of snacks and strollers. Of quick errands that last forever. Of endless questions and requests. Of potty breaks just after buckling everyone in. Of being exhausted after a simple trip to the grocery store. She had done that and done it well. Now her days are free. Sometimes I yearn for her days. She can go into Starbucks if she wants to and is not relegated to the drive-thru line because she has a car full of kids. She can grocery shop at 2:00pm or 10:30am. There are no nap schedules to work around anymore. She can watch a Hallmark movie WHENEVER SHE WANTS. She can read a book. And in one sitting if she wants to at that! She can get her nails done without checking with anyone else first. In my eyes, that is more freedom than I know what to do with these days.

Yet, to hear her say she is always alone struck me. It’s all about perspective isn’t it? It also serves as a reminder that what we see may not always be. Her statement was such a powerful reminder to appreciate what I have, just like she did, and to relish it and enjoy it, just like she did. The days are long, but the years are short as the saying goes. I’ll rise up to all the requests, questions, and potty breaks. It feels like they will last forever, but I know one day they will be gone, and I will be riding along with my own children grateful for their company once again.

Find the joy~