I dread 3 pm. Naps are done, the energy is high, and the witching hours begin. I look at the clock and try to figure out how we can quickly pass the next four and a half hours before they go back to sleep. If we’re lucky, we’ll get a playdate in, but if we’re not, it seems as though the clock has decided to take its sweet old time between the tick and tock.
By dinner, I’m done. I want them to cooperate and hurry everything up because I want the quiet of my own space. Even though I know these moments will soon end, that the kids will grow up faster than I think, I still rush. I still make them rush. I don’t have my kids in sight at that point. I only see the goal of peaceful freedom, and I try to run to it… with legs made out of lead.
But lately there have been moments when I get to see them through someone else’s eyes. It can be a stranger passing by or a family friend or the many people who love them at church. Our kids say hi to them or reach over to give them a hug, and when I look at their faces, I’m stopped. Intrigued. I see such softness and delight. I see gladness filling up their hearts, and they take in the love, they enjoy their presence, and they stay there.
I look at them, and I don’t feel the same look on my face. Instead of a smile, I feel a frown. Instead of softness, hardness. I wonder how seldom I have that look of pure joy, how frustrated and despairing my face must look during witching hours. And it grieves me to my core. Yes, they scream. Yes, they disobey and hit each other. But when I see them through someone else’s eyes, I get to see them for who they are most of the time. They are a delight. They’re hilarious and sweet, and nothing compares to the love and hugs they give.
I want to see them more with those eyes. I need to see them more with those eyes. I want them to know how loved they are not only by the many others but even more by their mommy whose heart could burst when she sees them with the right eyes.