A flash of bright blue tulle from outside followed by a heavy thud against the back door. Backtracking to the window, I just manage to catch the billowing of a dilapidated princess dress at another heavy-armed toss of mud by the princess somewhere beneath. The yard, so recently fresh from rainfall, is now mud spattered beyond recognition, windows and door clearly objects of muddy target practice.
Rummaging sorts of noises back me a bit further to peer into the kitchen knowingly. Sure enough, there in the open fridge sits my little panda girl. One small hand clutches an unopened yogurt container tightly to her chest while she contentedly munches two slices of bread from the other, her sister's bright pink bike helmet making a slow descent over her eyes with every bite.
Opening my mouth to protest, I'm stopped mid finger lift by loud squawking from the bothered little bird in my arms. I can't tell of it's colic or just needing the comfort of mama in all the noise and transition from one world to another, but that spot in the crook of my arm seems to be her favorite lately, considering she hasn't left it much. Pacing continued, I lay old tracks through newly laid trails of mud and crumbs, shaking my head and chuckling at the difference of life in just two weeks' time.
I keep telling those who've asked that things are so good, so different, and so hard. And really it's true to the core. When Wren came I expected things to go as swimmingly as they had after Selah; how different could three kids be over two? I did come at the front end of a larger family in my favor too, after all. But good gracious did my pride get the best of me this time. I think it took four or five days for me to get more than an hour's sleep at a time post-labor, which was all too quickly followed by Will's having to get back to work and leaving us four girls' to the mercy of the Lord from breakfast to bedtime. I may have raised my voice a bit too much and locked myself in a room with chocolate a couple of times.
So there's that, the different and hard, but even with so much of the day feeling locked into those modes there's also this contentedness underlying it all. Yes, this is hard and different but it's also so good. Wren fills a space in our family always there for her and of course we all adore her. And while Alanna and Selah spend half the day bickering and stirring mischief in every corner of our home, there's still signs of growth, the lasting kind. And Will and I, well I miss our conversations not held over three small heads and waking up in the same general state of things, but I can see the sparkle in his eyes (beneath his overwhelm of being far outnumbered now) whispering all that I cling to deep in my heart: We're wrapping our arms around vessels of an immense outpouring of grace, we're seeing God's goodness here in the land of the living. Even in the mud and crumbs and wailing and glitter and thousands of baby dolls, how could it all be considered anything but good?