Let it be known that I love and adore all four of my children equally. Each of them challenges me and makes me better. Each are God-selected for my life and I feel entrusted by Him to have them. That said, if ever there were a child that I wanted to freeze forever, it would be this punkin. This child captures my heart.
One night recently, we snuggled on the couch together under the first quilt I made at Mindy's house here in Da Plains. She had on her pink, furry-collared Dora pajamas and her hair was all caddywompus. I rubbed her tiny belly and softly rounded toes while we watched Food Network and picked our favorite desserts. Then I thought about those days 4 years ago, when I would go to court or fight on the phone with Shoes, when she was only weeks old (and I emotional and postpartum, yes) - those days shortly after moving in with Nana and then losing my job. Christmastime. I thought about how, when I would walk into the room, baby Mabel would lift my soul up.
She was my extra gift from God. He knew I needed her right then. Well, the whole world needed her. But, she came at a time when others would have broken under the pressure of being a single mom to 3, having a newborn, a pending divorce with a mentally-ill husband, and a job loss. She came at the most perfect time. She was the balance. She was the soft pink of my heart. And oh how I squeezed her then. I could barely part from her, so little but lending mommy so much strength. It's no surprise to me that, while I now fully promote her independence, Mabel still has a special purpose in my life. I'm not sure I'll ever be able to explain it any better than that.
On that night under the quilt, I told her so. "You have always been very special to Mama's heart. Did you know?"
"Do you wish I could stay just this size, Mama?" she asked, while she wiped my hair back from my forehead. That is her favorite thing to do when she is in my face.
My eyes teared up. Because while I do wish she would stay this exact size for a hundred more years with my arms to hold her tight and squish her up, I would never want to deny her the next step of her life. The next adventure for Miss Moo. I would never want to stop this daughter of mine who is an absolute force.
We nuzzled noses and I quietly thanked Jesus for all four of my children, and especially for giving me the moments when I recognize how individually pure and perfect they are. If I can see them as HE sees them for only one moment - holy cow, the love in my heart just explodes. God's love is awesome. It's whole and infinite, and it is not dependent on any action or thing. And he lends that love to me as a mother.
I tell you what, being a mom is the bestest thing ever in the whole wide world. At least, that's what I told Mabel that night.