Late afternoon is our tough hour. The kids and I have been around each other all day, and all the tasks seem to need (re)doing at once - making supper, feeding the baby, and tidying up.
Today, just around 5, I was feeding Kachi while Sam and Vava were supposed to be picking up their toys. They spent most of this time wrestling and yelling, interspersed with the occasional crying spell. The one exception? After a visit to the potty, Sam decided not to put his pants back on, but crouched down and pulled his sweater over his knees. He waddled around the living room making silly noises, crowing "wook-a-me!" I started to scowl. I really did. I felt my eyebrows draw together and I almost barked "you're supposed to be picking up toys!" But it was so funny and silly, and a welcome change from the tired & wired scrapping ... so I relented, and let it in. I let that happiness right in, and laughed along with them. Vava was thrilled with her short, chubby brother, and Sam was impressed with his own skill at squat-walking, and their laughter was irresistible.
It's easy, in the Christmas rush at the end of the year, to be focused on work and the crush of demands. To think about my have-to-do list instead of my get-to-do life. Of course God used my kids to remind me that the One who came to us as a child welcomed the interruption of children ...welcomed them right in, and declared that "of such is the kingdom of Heaven".
Ahh I need the reminder every day. I tend to Scrooge when I get my head stuck in my own schedule, my gaze focused on my own plans. I guess that's probably why He sent me these exasperating, interrupting, hilarious kids ... curious arrows, who keep pointing me out of myself and straight to the expansive joy found in the welcoming heart of God.
May your hearts be merry and bright, friends.