A dear friend asked me recently how I find time to blog at all, let alone at Christmastime. I put it to her like this: It helps relieve some pressure. Pretend my head is a giant, overblown balloon that's about to pop. Then picture me pulling at my neck a bit. That screaming sound you hear as the air squeals out is my blog.
And here it is.
Confession: my kids make me cry.
Sometimes it's when they are awake and exhibiting behavior I not only don't understand, but can't control. Sometimes it's when they are asleep, and I sneak in quietly to put my nose next to their sweet little mouths to inhale as they breathe out. (Yes, the same mouths they were sassing me with just hours before. Being a mom is reeeally complicated.)
And sometimes, they make me cry when they're saying sweet things to each other and don't know I'm listening. This is when their true selves emerge, unencumbered by all the mother/daughter emotion that tends to seep into their tone of voice when they talk to me lately.
Some of you know a brief version of the story I'm about to tell already, but I never said this blog was going to be original or amazing, so pretend you're in college and just skim the rest.
The other night, the girls were tumbling out of the car and happily talking to each other when I overheard my oldest daughter, the one who is lately exasperated/annoyed/short-tempered/emotional with me say, "I have hope! I believe!". I don't even know what they were talking about, but her words were wings that attached themselves to my heart and flew up to heaven and back.
I've smiled every time I've thought of it ever since, and at the urging of my best friend (the one who lives so far away that her kids think that "Auntie Amy" is a sound that comes out of the phone), I've decided to take this phrase on as my mantra for 2012.
I'm not making a resolution to lose weight, or exercise more, or go to church, or stop gossiping. All great ideas that will likely flit and float in and out of my life next year, but "I have hope! I believe!" will be the constant.
That and dirty laundry.