When I was still teaching, the hardest days to get out of bed and drive to school were the rainy ones. I wanted to curl back under the covers with my kids and simply nest. This morning, I finally got my wish.
Kaleb woke up at 6:30 and spent a lovely 45 minutes cuddled up and sleeping next to me. Snuggling a sleeping baby is as good as being pregnant, I think (I love pregnancy). Kendell had already left for the day so it was just Kaleb and me, listening to the rain in the dark. At 7:30, Haley got up and sat in my bed while she finished her homework. Jake and Nathan joined us half an hour later. Warm, sleepy, peaceful, with the rain like a shelter above us: exactly what I wanted and needed this morning.
All of which has left me thinking about the nature of answered prayers. In the grand scheme of things, my two years of teaching were just a small moment of time. But every day, every day, I ached to be at home with my kids. I hated knowing that if someone got sick, my mom or my mother-in-law would have to take care of them instead of me. I hated missing assemblies. I hated not making their breakfast and sending them off to school with a kiss. Every day I mourned for what I had lost and every day I prayed that I could get it back: that I could be a stay-at-home mom again.
Those two years taught me a lot: the nature of my little grief, my own ability, my children's inherent flexibility. I learned that I took my previous stay-at-home opportunity for granted. I even griped a little bit about it. Since I've been home, I've been learning all new lessons. One of the biggest is that you can't ever "get it back again." This time around, it's not the same. My three oldest are growing up. I'll never have a houseful of toddlers again. It's not a matter of better or worse, just different. But I'm also learning the payback of those years of being away: I don't take mornings like these for granted anymore. I savor every second, because I also know now that staying at home is a privilege that could easily be lost.
Deep thoughts for a rainy Friday, I suppose. Happiness takes many forms, and today it was a cold, cloudy Utah morning and my four little sweethearts all snuggled up next to me, pajamas and down and baby soap and warmth.