I'm here to tell you that all the rumors about 3-year-olds are true.
It's common knowledge these days that "three is the new two," but until you experience it personally, you don't know what you are in for. Three started out with a bang around here. The birthday candles had barely cooled off when night terrors threw our whole household into crisis.
From there, it snowballed.
At the kick-off of the new semester of a mom's Bible study that I attend, the icebreaker question was "What's your favorite thing about being a mom?"
Everything inside me withered. Please don't ask me that question right now.
The other moms proceeded with their flowery and inspiring answers:
"My son sitting in my lap while I read to him."
"How can I choose just one favorite? I love it all!"
Give me a break. I couldn't even take the sarcastic route and say "Bedtime," because that wouldn't be true. I despise bedtime. The only thing worse than waketime is nighttime. I nearly become an atheist every night at 7:00pm.
Instead I replied slowly, "The truth is, there's not a whole lot about being a mom that is enjoyable right now."
After a moment of awkward silence, they shrugged it off and moved on. They went home to snuggles and story time while I went home thinking that maybe i'm just not cut out for this.
Until one day, glory be, we had a breakthrough.
Our church has been studying the book of Acts. Recently we read about Saul's conversion. As a result of Saul no longer travelling around killing Christians, life got easier for the followers of Jesus. Here's how it's described:
Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace and was strengthened. Living in the fear of the Lord and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers.
On the BabyGirl's half birthday, something clicked. It was as if her mind had been abducted by aliens and held captive on the mothership for the past six months, and was finally returned back to its rightful owner. Someone drew back the curtains and let in some light. She became human again.
A few winters ago I was listening to the radio while riding to work at the ungodly hour of 5am. Five o'clock in the morning in the dead of winter is miserably cold. Heck, the middle of the day is miserably cold in the dead of winter. But 5am is a dark, lonely, windy, ungodly cold. The radio hosts were celebrating because that particular day was the shortest day of the year.
Now, the shortest day of the year might not immediately sound like a cause for celebration. Pause for a second to consider the implications: after the shortest day, each subsequent day gets progressively longer. Tomorrow will have more sunlight than today. And the day after tomorrow will have more still. And there will be more the day after that, and the day after that, until—a full day's worth of sunlight! Warmth! Light! Life! Leaves and chirping birds and cookouts at the beach!
Crossing the shortest day of the year off the calendar is the best feeling in the world. It can only get brighter from there. It can only bring you farther from darkness and closer to light. Yes, tomorrow will still be short. It will still be cold. But it won't be as short as today.
That is what I am fervently hoping in regards to the BabyGirl's half birthday. Three is halfway done. Each day will get a few more moments of sunlight from here on out. Here comes the sun, and I say it's alright.
Already the sunny-ness of her personality is returning. She's back to her old affectionate self. She runs up to me and gives me a hug for no reason. She tells me how glad she is that we are spending time together. She pats Bright Eyes' back and says she's glad they are sisters. She is eager to help. She proactively meets the needs of others without being asked/cajoled/threatened.
We are enjoying a time of peace and being strengthened. The threat to our lives has been removed, and now we can breathe again. We are free to move about the country. I feel like the woman who found her lost coin. "Rejoice with me, friends! I have found my lost coin!" I have found my lost BabyGirl, and she is a treasure.