For the first time in a very, very long time, I did something that I love. I got lost with my children. Lost inside the pages of a book. So lost were we and desperate to find out what would become of the brave little mouse who was trying to rescue the beautiful princess, that when I looked over at the clock, it was noon, and we had to break for lunch before finding out our hero's fate.
Oh, sure. We took a break to do Ben's morning exercises. And every once in a while, we stopped for a minute to switch loads of laundry or change a diaper, but otherwise? Otherwise, we had no idea what time it was, how much time had passed, or what was going on anywhere but the island of our couch. It's been a magical day.
So magical, in fact, that when the brave mouse succeeded in freeing his princess, we immediately lost ourselves in the adventures of Polly and Diggory, and I cannot wait for the next chapter when my children will wander for the first time into the land of Narnia.
These are the moments that I have waited for as a mother. When I only had one little listener, Caleb and I would sit on the couch and read for hours (not an exaggeration). He was less than two years old, but he LOVED to just sit and listen to a story, to a book on cassette, to music. When I had two little ones, Caleb would sit and look at books for hours while he waited for Momma to be done with little brother, but somehow, that really never happened. The open hours we used to spend snuggled up on the couch lost in an adventure have been filled to bursting with laundry, food preparation, doctors' appointments, grocery shopping, school, therapy, and diaper changing. More often than not, I finish with one task seconds before I have to launch everyone out the door for somewhere we HAVE to be.
But not today. Today was one of those glorious days where I had nothing on the calendar. No visitors headed our way (although, we sure do enjoy those!!). No tasks that had to be done. I suppose I could've spent the day making gifts for people in our life. Normally the helpers in our life each receive something as a reminder of how loved they are (and, boy oh boy, they are!), but I'll just admit right now, I got selfish and exhausted this year. Sorry, mailman and UPS guy. I'll have to make it up to you on Valentine's Day. Today I'm getting lost with my children.
Today is one of those rare days that I have all four at home. Caleb is on break. Ben doesn't have class. Laura isn't off on an adventure, and Emily has fully found her personhood as she babbles and crawls around the house. We needed today. So we snuggled up on the couch, picked a book we probably wouldn't finish, and read it through to the end. No regrets. And my heart is full. Full of a love for these book lovers I'm raising and for the stories that I'm filing away in their hearts because the reality of life is that we are all a part of a grand story. Each of these tales of rescue and valor echo the Greatest Story of a Heaven-sent Hero who came down to rescue His lost bride. Can it only be three days from now that we get to celebrate His coming?
The kids are ecstatic that this may be the first year that our family is able to finish the Jesse Tree book. We always start with the best of intentions and then get too far behind to ever catch up, but this year looks like the year that our family of six will finally read to the end of the book... to the birth of our Hero. And hopefully, it will be the first of many years where we finish the Advent book only to be reminded that the Story our Hero is writing still has pages to be written in our lives and our world. That His rescue continues every day and everywhere that the Gospel is shared. That we are never lost in His Story... but found. Held. Forever loved.
I have no clue what is for dinner, and Emily has successfully hidden toys throughout the family room. I have had zero alone time today, and the sink is full of dishes, but I'm not going to worry about it. Today was a day for doing what I don't have time to do. For turning one more page and finishing one more chapter. For getting lost and remembering that I am found.
Only three more days. Our Hero is on the move.