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  • Writer's pictureKelsey Petersen

Slowing Down

Today while I was cooking dinner, you scooted a chair up next to me and climbed up. You told me, “I wanna help you, Mommy.” I was chopping turnips and carrots. My natural response would have been that it was a thing mommy had to do by herself, but instead I let you put your hand on top of mine and told you when to push down so we could chop the vegetables together. It slowed me down—a lot—but I didn’t mind. I started singing, “Get choppy with it! Nah-nah-nah-nah-nah-nah!” and you caught on really quickly. I told you, “You are so cute, Ellie.” and you replied, “I am so cute.” You told me your hair looks like an egg and man—I would pay a lot of dollars to get a peak inside of your brain to see how that makes sense to you. I let you be the one to scoop all of our hard work into a pot before setting it on the stove.

I think that so far, one of my favorite things about motherhood has been moments like this. Moments that make me slow down long enough to drink you in and marvel at what a miracle it is that, because your dad and I fell in love, we have you now. A strong-willed child that walks and talks and says that her hair looks like an egg. I never want you to grow up and think that every day was perfect or that I didn’t totally mess up the mommy-gig from time to time. (I think I gave you a total of 3 rolls of smarties the other day when I was on the phone to keep you happy.) It is really hard sometimes.

A couple of weekends ago, you and Scarlett were both sick and on night three of very little sleep your Dad and I were talking about how easy we used to have it before you little girls came into our lives. I mean, Saturday mornings spent sleeping in! Spontaneous late-night trips to the grocery store…together. Going out to eat when-ev-er we dang well pleased. EASY. But truly, I’d trade it all over and over to watch you pull goofy faces at Scarlett to get her to belly-laugh. I’d take interrupted sleep forever to see the way Scarlett’s face lights up when I say, “HEY, BABYYY!!! Or the way you lie on your stomach playing with my dry-erase markers for up to an hour talking to them like they are little people. And while I'd love to say that I take a little time every day to appreciate all these little things that make me glad that you're mine--I fail at that sometimes. I fail because there's a floor to be swept and dishes to run and a phone to be answered. I fail because there's a doctor appointment at ten and an unpaid bill on the counter and a Marco Polo to be sent. I fail sometimes because life is loud and I feel overwhelmed with my never-ending list of to-dos.

When I struggled to latch both of you girls while breastfeeding I’d be thinking, “Man, a fawn can run what? An hour after it’s birth, but my babies can’t even suck well enough to get food!" I have to admit, I'd wondered a couple times why Heavenly Father made human babies so utterly helpless. But today, your little hand on mine reminded me to slow down. It struck me then how very much we need you little humans to make us realize what is truly important from time to time.

So right now, yes. I’ll let you “help” me chop carrots and turnips. I’ll refold the laundry I’d been working on after I watch you pile it untidily into the basket. I’ll comfort you with a big hug when you are overreacting because your goldfish spilled out of your cup and onto the ground. And while there are definitely some moments where I send a pleading prayer to Him asking, “Why? Why did you give me this child?” There are many more instances where I tell Him, “Thank you for sending me this child.”

I love you forever, my little helper.


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