“You have your hands full.”
I’ve heard this often in the last three years. I’ve even said it to other mothers. It’s not an untrue statement. Many days, my hands are literally FULL. I’ve often joked that at least with twins I have one hand for each.
But this statement often sounds like this: “SIGH… You have your hands (too) full.”
Recently someone said this to me at least three times in the course of a Sunday morning. Then she said, “And you have another one coming! (sigh!)” (how terrible!) “I guess you’re done after this!”
OUCH. This stung.
As if children are a burden. A season of life to be endured. Infancy a series of sleepless nights and diaper changes. The toddler years a blur of time-outs and temper tantrums. School days a gauntlet of homework and social upheaval. The teenage years a battle of wills and hormonal terrors. And every additional child simply a prolonging and repetition of these seasons.
May it not be.
Yes, there are hard days in our home. We’ve been tired and we’ve snapped at each other and we’ve cried and we cleaned up poop and we’ve wondered when bedtime would come. We’ve had long nights and longer days. We’ve “just wanted a break.”
And then we’re right back in there. With joyful spinning around the room (“Daddy, the house is tilting”) and new books from the library to delight over, and recitation of favorite Bible verses, and hugs and I-Love-You’s freely given and received. With prayers over ouchies and forgiveness for hurt feelings and learning new words ("turnstile," "dromedary"). With sunshine on blond heads and digging in the dirt for bugs and painting pictures of dinosaurs and rocketships. With uncontrollable laughter and smiles that can change the whole day.
And I can’t wait to open my full hands to another, who will undoubtedly leave my hands more than full (I don’t have three hands). And will leave my heart overflowing.