I remember being a kid, maybe 10 or 11 years old, and toboganning with my family and some friends. We would race up the hill, my sister and I, and our friends, only to hop quickly onto our sleds and fly down to the bottom. On one particular climb up the hill, near the end of the day (I remember feeling tired), I was distracted by someone sledding past me. I turned momentarily to watch the sled go down the hill, and before I knew it, I was flat on my back, wind knocked out of me, gasping for air. Another sled had come down the hill at the precise moment I turned around, and hit me in the backs of the legs, taking me down with it. I laid on the snow for a couple of moments, unable to breath.
As of late, I have felt this same sensation, only in regards to my littles. I will be pacing through an ordinary day, sometimes tired, sometimes distracted, without noticing the wonder in it all. And suddenly, I am struggling to breathe. I love them so much it actually hurts. In the smallest of moments, I can be transported from the sometimes monotony of stay at home momhood to the achingly wonderful beauty that leaves me gasping for breath. It is in the 5am rocking to sleep of Mattea with her first real cold, in the laughter of Elijah as he and Sean make up songs about farting as they build elaborate lego ships, and it is in the touch of India’s lips to my cheek as she says, “I love you soo soo much Mama.” It is in the seeing just how high we can bounce the “rubber egg” before it breaks, it is in the giggling baby reaching for the dog’s fur, and it is in the “Can I sleep in the family bed tonight Mama?”
Mostly, it comes in the moments when I am elsewhere in thought, focused on all I think needs to be done. And when it comes, I find myself struggling to breathe, again, with how much I love them.