Somehow, today sort of ran me over. Broadsided me. Mowed me down. It was a hit and run that left me here, stunned, trying to understand how it could already be dinner time.
Where did it go? How did it slip through my fingers so quickly? How did it hit so hard, take such a toll, and leave me with nothing to show for it?
The baby fell into peaceful naptime slumber, nursing contentedly. It was then that I heard the whisper, clear as day,
“What a waste this day was.”
I smiled ruefully. Wow. I can’t believe I just let that thought pass through my mind. But I did. It was there. Dark and shadowy and real.
I’ve been around the block a few too many times to let it linger. Those sorts of thoughts need nothing more than to be immediately evicted.
Evict I do, determined to replace fable with truth.
Let’s see, I begin. Today was not a waste, because today I, umm, well, I made coffee. Right. Let’s see, then I well, took a shower. Yes, that’s good. K, theennnn, oh! Laundry! I did some laundry!…
Obviously this is not the right approach for winning this battle, as today’s accomplishments of a little cleaning, a little cooking, and a few diapers don’t amount to much more than that whispered suggestion of a waste.
I try another tack.
I look down at sleeping babe, the one who jabbered and played all the while I made dinner; who, when I paused to notice him happily entertaining himself, smiled peacefully at me and caused a prayer of thanksgiving to bubble up in me. This babe whose smile widened when I put on the ergo, who made me laugh when I realized how much he truly enjoys being on my back while I water gardens, pull garbage cans from the road’s edge, chop onions and garlic, switch the loads from washer to dryer. He gave me a bit of a run for my money today, somehow getting out of the starting gate with a bit more speed than I could match, but we managed to fall into our rhythm of mama and child. Sleeping now, I caress his chubby arm, touch his fat fingers clasped around a fistful of my shirt. His shortened curls shine like copper pennies. I breathe deeply, and know that I love him even deeper.
And I know that I can’t compute today’s worth, for I’ve lost track of the smiles we shared, the I love yous that were spoken, the little songs and scriptures recited. I think of the man who has been gone since morning, working hard when he likes it and when he doesn’t, because we need him to be our provider. And I realize again that the sum is greater than the parts: that dinner made, laundry clean, gardens tended, house tidied equals a home for him.
Greatest of all, there is One ever watching, calculating, adding, causing our sowing to bring later reaping — and there has never been a day in history that has slipped through His fingers. He knows each moment, each smile, each word and thought and gesture of kindness — and He says that they count.
And He’s always right.