“Mommy, will you tell me a story?” my little love asked as I was tucking her in. I looked at her sweet face and resisted the urge to prostrate myself on the floor beside her bed. I was tired. The end-of-school year craziness has been keeping me up at night, wrestling with fitful dreams. I had just used up the last of my energy cooking dinner, cleaning up dinner, wrangling my wild child through her bath and into her pajamas, and now she wanted a story. I was running on fumes and truly believed that if I opened my mouth, no sound would come out and I would find myself gasping for air. My angel on the other hand, was a bright-eyed bundle of energy.
“Why don’t you tell me a story?” I propositioned. She hopped up onto her mattress. “Okay mommy. I’ve got fairy tales, Baba Yaga stories, and Scooby Doo stories. Which one do you want?” And just like that I was re-energized. I had no idea that my sweet girl had such a whimsical arsenal at her disposal. I laughed and requested a fairy tale, for which I received more choices. My little person fascinates me.
I couldn’t tell you what her story was about. My heart was busy memorizing the changing expressions of her twinkling eyes, the many faces and voices she used while in character, and the graceful way she spoke with her little hands. Her enthusiasm evaporated all traces of mother’s guilt for wanting to wiggle out of storytime.
During my quiet time today, I was reading about Job and the blessings he received after enduring unimaginable trials. Naturally, I tend to relate such stories to my own big life events, or to any pressing issues that I’m wrestling with in that moment. However, as I reflected on God’s mercy and compassion, and the healing and blessings Job experienced when life had devastated him to the point of complete exhaustion, I found myself thinking about motherhood. Isn’t motherhood utterly exhausting, at times even devastating, yet sprinkled with compassionate and merciful moments that bless us beyond measure? As oversimplified as it may seem, in my I’m-too-tired-to-be-a-mother-right-now moment, I was shown compassion, and was blessed with a renewed and full heart.
I left my daughter’s room that night feeling grateful and at peace, which I needed, as she continued to tell herself and her dolls stories for the next hour-and-a-half. I don’t know where she gets her energy from, perhaps from the lentil stew we had eaten for dinner.
It wasn’t a heavy winter stew, but fresh and light, and infused with plenty of lemon. I used lima beans instead of shelling the called for edamame (yes, I was that tired). I think that the next time I’m given a choice of after dinner entertainment, I’ll request a Baba Yaga story.