It started out when we went to mass this morning and everybody came downstairs dressed nicely, modestly, church shoes on, hair combed and ready to go - on time. Nobody yelled, "shotgun", or wrestled each other to the ground trying to get the front seat. Everybody chitted and chatted happily all the way to Nativity. I know what you're thinking but, no, I did not put Zanax or even Benedryl in their cereal. It must just be the season. It could be that their dad let them sleep through 7 am and 9 am services, and let them go to 10:30 am. Could it be that they are rested since it's been 3 days since the last final and they've had plenty of sleep? Maybe it's the novelty of being together again, yet not for so long they're sick of each other yet. Whatever the reason, I DON'T CARE. It's absolute bliss.
When your kids are little and you have 5 of them and you're so busy wrestling them in and out of the car, walking them up and down outside of restaurants when they cry, or scrubbing behind 10 little ears every night when you tubby them before bed, you don't have time to think about the fact that one day they may all go their separate ways. You take it for granted that you will always be together living, crying, laughing, fighting, loving. Then one gets married and you're family is smaller even though it grows. You aren't waiting up until curfew for that one anymore. She has her own husband, her own family now. If you are really, really, lucky like I am, her family lives close by and you can still see each other at a moments notice.
Then you lose one to University. Off she goes to a whole other state and you have to learn how to use the text mode on your phone or you don't even get to 'talk' to her. Then the next one is off to follow his dreams and although he's only two hours away, lives on both ends are so busy that you only see each other on school breaks. Like now. Now that they are all home on break, for just a time, before they all carry on with their individual lives.
Now when they all come home and you are sitting in your pew at church and you kneel to pray you peek to your left and there they are. All together in God's house saying their prayers, and you know that you are blest. You look to your right and there is your beloved. He also has his head bent in prayer, and you know you are the luckiest woman on earth. You think of two of your dear friends who lost children this past year and you say a special prayer for them. Dear God especially bless the Breda and Pastel families. Give them the peace that passeth all understanding. Bless their little saints in heaven to watch over their families until all are united again.
I wanted to freeze frame all of it. I took a picture in my mind of that moment. These are the moments which make the memories that make up our lives. I had my camera in my purse. I always have my camera in my purse. But Monseigneur Purcell frowns on flash photos in church. Especially during prayer. I don't know why. Before I do anything I say to myself, "self, what would Jesus do?" And seriously, I think he would take the picture. Really, I think he would grasp the opportunity and snap away with a big smile on his face. Because that's the Jesus I know and love. But I can also appreciate Monseigneur's point of view and besides I'm a scaredy cat. I don't like to draw attention to myself and I hate to get yelled at. I avoid getting yelled at at all cost. So I just appreciated the moment in my heart. And my heart was near to bursting with BLISS.
Someday I know there will be holidays when all of my kids won't be home at the same time. I know they are growing up fast and I'm on borrowed time. Moments like this don't happen every day when your kids get older. But today they did, and I truly appreciated that and thank God for it, photo or no. And Jesus, just so you know, I did take that picture in my head. So if it wouldn't be a bother, could you just make sure that I don't loose my mind any time in the near future so that I can reference it whenever I want to? Thanks Jesus. Oh and Jesus, I love you more than all the pictures I have taken in my mind that I pull out again and again to remember the moments that make up the memories that are my sweet life.
Now I'm going to share a picture I just took of the sunset with you. Because nobody was there to yell at me and it's exactly what Jesus would do!
It's the last week to get ready to celebrate the birth of our Savior. Blessed Advent!