New Year’s Eve, we stayed in. Me, my husband and our three sleeping kiddos.
Except one was not sleeping. That would be Alice, our five-year-old with the lion’s mane of golden hair and the disposition of a saint.
A running, leaping, laughing, shy, fearless, popcorn-eating saint.
And, just a side note, don’t underestimate the power of the static zap produced by the running and leaping in the dead of winter. When I see that blond head of hair standing on end as she hurtles towards me, I run. You’d run too.
Anyway, instead of sleeping, she was listening through her cracked bedroom door to the music we had on, playing with her new Christmas presents, and winding her music box.
When Adam and I had finished our dinner of scallops, brussel sprouts, mushrooms, and a Julia Childs sauce that had three sticks of butter in it (heavens help us), little lion-mane came peeping around the door.
Adam went in.
“Dad,” she said, “I like everything. I like sleeping. I like eating. I like playing. I just like everything.”
Hearing that was an arrow to the heart. One of those piercing feelings you get when something is so beautiful, and so fleeting, and so precious, and so fragile all at the same time.
One of Adam’s biggest fears when we decided to take the leap and see if we could have kiddos was that our kiddos would be unhappy. So the fact that for five years Alice has been so happy is, to me, so beautiful and wonderful, and a gift to him as much as to her.
My mother’s heart can’t help but ache at the thought that it can’t last. No one’s life is 100% happy. Eventually, there will be something she doesn’t like–a teacher. A kid at school. A job. Who knows. But I pray that the joyful contentment she has now will last through it all. That it will be a strong foundation in her spirit. That she will be unshakable, because her feet are planted on the One who gives the gift of joy.
Shine on, little Lion Mane.