I'm a word girl. I think you know that, but lately, I've been noticing that I take more mental pictures.
I think it's Tony's fault.
As we approach our two-year anniversary in Panama, we have been spending more time talking about what the next step will be. We talk about our goals for our remaining time in Panama, and what future we desire for our family. Sometimes it is exciting to look at the globe and realize any of it could become our next home. Other times, I want nothing more than to pull up the covers and just live in bed forever. The uncertainty leads me to ponder more.
And I find myself taking mental pictures more now...
I'm laying in bed on the first night of the cruise, and I see Chloe coming through the door from the adjoining room.
I look at the picture I've taken. Where did I get this young lady? Am I old enough to have a child this grown up? What happen to my insecure, but brave little girl? She's confident. She's beautiful. She's amazing.
We're potty training Coralynn right now. She's turning the corner toward 3, and it was time to lose the diapers. She calls for me, "Momma, need potties!" I help her up, and the smile of success brightens her face. She runs into the kitchen with her gorgeous hair flowing down her back. I help her get her reward- a gummy bear, but she has to hold the bag and pick which bear herself.
This picture warms my heart. My sweet baby holding the worn package. She moves the clear and yellow gummy bears out of the way with her tiny little fingers. She grabs the one she wants- red gummy bear. As she pops it in her mouth, she hands me the bag and off she goes. This is not the scrawny 5lb Bits I brought home from the hospital. This isn't the nearly deaf 2-year-old I took to the hospital. Coralynn is strong. She's talkative. She's well. She's a little girl. Though she isn't a baby, she'll always be my baby.
I flip through my mental scrapbook, and I see pictures of Chloe potty training. 8 years ago. 2 moves ago. 3 siblings ago. 8 years- it strikes me. She'll only be in my home another 8 years before college beckons her. It just doesn't seem possible. I wonder what my life will look like in 8 years. Coralynn will be ten- the age Chloe is now. I stop and think about it. I know it won't work. It is impossible for me to guess any part of that picture. Too far away. Too many variables. Too much unknown. My mind is simply incapable of forming that mental picture.
I give up on my picture. Instead, I sit back and listen.
The sounds of Legos being swished in their container as Carson searches for the perfect piece.
Coralynn calling out to her siblings with her toddler demands.
I can hear the keyboard click as Chloe plays some game on the internet.
And, of course, Camilla brings with her silence. She finds comfort sitting in the middle of their energy. She just soaks it up.
This picture is different. The subjects are blurry. The backgrounds non-descript. Although, I can't make out the details, its meaning is clear.
It's simply a picture of the contentment of my heart. And there is no better mental picture.