Slow Dancing in the Playroom

Rarely do I read someone’s Facebook post and think, “Wow. Yes. That’s absolutely perfect.”

Recently, however, a friend of mine posted a text message his wife (also a friend) had sent him during a difficult day at home with their one-year-old son. Here it is, reproduced here with her permission:

[Our son is] miserable today btw. Like doesn’t want to play with anything. Just the toy he threw behind the couch. I can’t reach it. And then he ate a leaf and cried about it. And then I gave him three cookies, and he shoved all of them into his tiny mouth. As he chewed it, in came too much and it promptly began to flow like spraying masticated cookie goo everywhere. And now we are slow dancing in the playroom.

I bet you smiled and nodded too, as I did when I first read it. What a perfect encapsulation of life with a toddler.

Life with any child, for that matter. Sometimes everything goes wrong, incident after incident after incident. There are tears (theirs? ours?), frustration, anger, weariness, and discouragement.

But that’s not all.

Look again at my friend’s last sentence: “And now we are slow dancing in the playroom.”

What a beautiful moment that must have been. After a long, difficult day, my friend cuddled her precious son close, and they danced. Yes, she had experienced a hard day. But she also experienced love, intimacy, and beauty. And so did her son.

You’ve experienced that kind of juxtaposition, too—the crazy along with the peaceful, the good along with the bad. I’m sure you’ve run the whole gamut of emotions and experiences with your children this past year, and you’ll probably do so again in the year to come. Some events or circumstances will be pleasant and joyful; others will be sad, and still others will fall somewhere on the spectrum in between. You’ll have peaceful days, and you’ll have crazy days like my friend’s day.

But remember that the “not-so-good” or even “really bad” days aren’t all there is. You will have times of peaceful closeness with your children that bless your mother-heart in ways that are unspeakably precious.

So, yes, discipline your children when they need it; clean up their messes, or instruct them to do so; and find creative replacements for that toy they threw behind the couch. But don’t forget to make beautiful memories.

There’s always time for at least one slow dance.

Ecclesiastes 3:1—To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. (KJV)

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