you surprised me

Sometime between dinner last night and the kids leaving for school in the morning, this sticker appeared at knee-height on a cupboard door. I'm not sure if it was a group effort or the work of a stealth lone ranger -- but the first thought that popped into my head was, "Right back at ya, kid."

Surprise. It's a word that comes to mind so often when I think of motherhood.

And it's a word that's here to stay.

Four children, four personalities, four different journeys. 

  • You surprised me the moment each of you made yourself known with a pair of lines on a stick

  • You surprised me the first time I looked into each of your eyes and recognized you

  • You surprised me by changing everything I thought I wanted for myself to everything I wanted for you

  • You surprised me with the indescribable joy of even your tiniest moments

  • You surprised me when I stopped wanting to grow up and move on to the next thing and instead started wishing for time to stand still

  • You surprised me with the depth of hurt I could feel on your behalf

  • You surprised me with how much sleep I would lose even while you slept

  • You surprised me with your generosity and kindness

  • You surprised me with your ability to forgive my mistakes

  • You surprised me with the way you see the world

  • You surprised me with your gifts and talents

  • You surprised me with the hope I feel for you every single day

  • You surprised me with your love and patience for one another

  • You surprised me with the ways you've changed my life

There will probably be a burst of giggles, finger-pointing, even a dash of worry as I try to get to the bottom of the mystery at tonight's dinner table. So I'll open with, "It was a really nice surprise to find a surprise sticker." 

They'll probably forget about it by tomorrow, but I won't.

Because isn't it life's best surprises that we should hold closest of all?