Both kids are in bed. And both kids are asleep. In their own beds. This hasn't occurred in a solid week, since Frankie has woken, conservatively, eight billion times in the middle of the night and has ended up in our bed every night with Dean. I am lucky enough to get the guest room. The much better end of the deal not involving stray elbows and mid-dream shouting.
I am so grateful for sunny days that allow small children to run wildly until they are dirty and worn and look like homeless people. And then fall sleep in their own beds without protests.
We spent most of the day with my friend Crystal and her children. First, in the morning at a park with her three youngest and then the afternoon in our backyard with all five of her children, my own two and the two little neighbor boys. It was happy chaos. It turns out that I like happy chaos. I like when there are nine children running to and fro, one eating dirt, two picking dandelions, one pushing another on the swing, and one revving the Power Wheels Harley Davidson with her foot pressing the pedal to the metal. I don't like it when the that one is Molly, though. That is the trouble with nine children dashing about: you don't notice when one goes missing. By the time I noticed Molly was gone, I had heard the whine of what Crystal and I thought was a leaf blower for a while. Turns out, after searching the yard, it was small Molly standing cockily astride the motorcycle, foot on the gas pedal but providentially wedged in a corner where the whole thing couldn't move. Yet another near miss for the tender skull of a fourteen-month-old.
Sometimes I get shivers thinking of how close those little skulls are to disaster. How little it would take. How many times God in His mercy has remembered that we are but flesh and taken pity on us. Pity on me.
Molly in particular seems highly prone to disaster. I would estimate that I have performed the baby Heimlich on her no less than twenty times. Once in Meijers I was absentmindedly feeding her cereal and she kept accepting flake after flake after flake until I looked down and she was wide-eyed and open-mouthed and when I whisked her out of the grocery cart and slapped her between the shoulder blades she coughed out a hunk of cereal the size of my fist. But most of the time I can't take the blame. She could choke on a sesame seed. Cheese, Cheerios, highly pureed peaches, she's choked on them. I am nervous that she might someday need chest x-rays which will reveal a series of healing rib fractures from the back blows she has endured in my numerous attempts at saving her life. Oddly, she has never choked on an actual object. Only food. This is surprising since she is an inveterate fan of immediately putting in her mouth any small thing she encounters. No matter how careful I am, it seems there is no end to the stream of tiny things I fish out of Molly's mouth. Last week, my mom offered her a bite of pickle and before she took it she very casually pushed a penny out of her mouth with her tongue.
So many ways to flirt with disaster. So happy to have a sovereign God.