I am needed, here, in this world. In this home. In this family.
I'm needed to kiss the boo boos, to find the missing sock, to look at the lego creations and to scrub little heads at the end of the day.
I'm needed to be a balm to wounded emotions and to rock and hold stillness when their world is chaos and too big, too big.
I'm needed to be mommy, to be the cook, the maid, the laundress. I'm needed.
Sometimes I resent this. Let's just be real. Sometimes I greet the relentless calls of "Mommy!" With a less than kind "WHAT?!" Sometimes I grumble as I clean the crumbs and wash the pants and oh my gosh for the thousandth time hang up the jackets and make the beds.
Then there is the upturned face to me. The asking for me to walk them to bed- to brush and make braids. To giggle and to tickle and to rub heads while they glide into sleep- to peaceful dreams in a safe house with a mommy and daddy who love them.
There is safety in the need. There is a tethering to this earth and to these tiny people who would be lost without me. It's often hard and grinding, but it IS. The need exists for me, just as I am, to exist. To love and to see them. To ask the hard questions and to ask the small ones. To get the breakfast and to dry the tears.
I am necessary. I am valued. I am loved.
I lost sight of this precious gift. I lost it under the cottony darkness of circumstance and profound hurt. I lost it under problems of my own making and problems made for me.
I lost sight of the eternal things in the light of passing troubles.
I sat weighted under the cloud of pain while my children waited for me to stop looking at my storm and realize that the sunshine was RIGHT HERE. Right here. The sun and light was in the outstretched small hand, in the smell of baby lotion, in the school folders and in the morning coffee with a boy snuggled on my lap. The light was in watching the dawn while packing lunches and kissing them goodnight as the sun went down.
The light was here, in spite of my overlooking it. I was needed, despite my need to turn away to other fleeting, temporary things.
I know one day the clouds will roll in again. Life is peaks and valleys. It's pain and hurt and love and joy and beauty. Life IS.
But what comfort in knowing that in spite of my half waking life and keeping my eyes averted from what I should have been seeing, they waited.
They waited for me to return to myself. To see them again, and to move past my internal struggle. They loved me through my sleepwalk, and they loved me in spite of my distraction.
They loved me. And they needed me.
They always will. It's a sweet burden, one I will never take for granted again.
I am needed. And I am grateful to be.