One morning, many years ago, at a time when my children were small, I was sitting at the kitchen table enjoying my first cup of coffee before the children woke up. I knew that the minute their feet hit the floor, our day would be in full swing and that there would be no more quiet time until their bedtime many hours later. My husband had already left for work, and I was still in my nightgown and robe. My hair was disheveled from a nights sleep and I hadn’t bothered to wash my morning face yet. I had crawled out of a very warm bed and immediately came into the kitchen to brew a pot of coffee. I have always been a coffee hound and coffee is what I need to have first thing in the morning. I needed that first hot cup of coffee before I did anything else that day, so was motivated to walk a straight line from our bed to the coffee pot. Even though I had washed my face the night before, I am sure I had some trace remains of old mascara under my eyes from having slept with a thick layer of night cream. As I sat there and planned my day, I was startled out of my thoughts by a child’s voice.
“Well good morning Christopher! How’s my boy today?”
“Good….Uhmmm! I’m hungry”.
“Well, o.k. big boy. Let’s get you some breakfast”.
I had made some pancakes earlier while my coffee was brewing and then put them in the oven in a covered dish to keep warm. I liked the idea of breakfast being ready for them the minute they got up and besides, who doesn’t love to wake up to the smells of breakfast emanating from a warm kitchen on a cold winter day?
Chris clamored up onto his “big boy” chair and I proceeded to take out a pancake and put it on a plate. We didn’t have a microwave in those years, so earlier, I had put syrup in a small pot and put it to warm on the stove. I poured the very warm maple syrup on top of his pancake. He was all smiles when I set his plate in front of him with a glass of milk. I cut the pancake up into small bite size pieces to make it easier for him to eat, and then sat down again at the table across from him. I picked up my coffee to take another drink and watched him enjoy his breakfast. He was looking back at me with very bright eyes while he was chewing his pancake and then suddenly smiled at me. He stopped chewing, put down his fork and said…
“You are sooo beuuuufiful Mommy.” (emphasis on the f and no t)
What? Me? Beautiful? Really? Are you kidding me? With my tangled hair, my old robe, and my unwashed face? Beeeuuuufiful? I laughed out loud and said,
“Well, thank you sweet boy….I think you are beautiful too!”
I thought right then and there how wonderfully fun it was to have a small child around the home because they really did not see you with their eyes. Children see you with their heart, and that was what he expressed to me that morning. I think it is how God sees us too…..he sees our hearts.
Forty some years later, at night, I had a similar experience, only this time it wasn’t a little boy who was seeing me with his heart. It was a much older boy….a man who saw me with his heart this time.
My husband came over to kiss me goodnight. After he did, he just stood there looking down at me and said with a smile on his face,
“You are so cute”.
Me? Cute? Are you kidding me? Certainly not today…nor even yesterday, because for the last two days we have been busy getting the house ready for Christmas. Yesterday we were busy putting up the tree and putting out all the decorations. Today it was finishing what we had not managed to get completed yesterday, along with getting packages ready for mailing to Minnesota. I was wrapping enough gifts to fill two boxes that are going to that little boy who ate my early morning pancakes so many years ago. He is not a little boy anymore…He is all grown up. Proof of that is the gray hair at his temples and now HE is the father of two young girls who are much older than he was the day he made his Mothers heart swell with at his innocent declaration of love for her.
These last two days have been so INVOLVED, so I must admit, I never got out of my pajama’s. (Perish the thought, I know, but sometimes these things just happen). The first day, my husband was pretty determined we were going to put out Christmas decor. I was more of the mind set that maybe a small tree and a wreath on the door would do, but he didn’t think that was showing the Christmas spirit. SO, I just plowed straight ahead into the closet where we keep our decorations while still in my robe, and while still clinging to my first cup of coffee. It is no small feat to unload a closet full of Christmas decorations and then to figure out where to put them. Ugh! Double ugh!
Before I knew it, the day had passed and it was almost time for bed again. So, I put on a fresh gown and off to bed I toddled. Today, the same thing happened all over again. Over my ritual morning cup of coffee, Al said, “We probably should get those gifts sent as soon as possible so that we don’t have to deal with mile long lines at the post office. So, after gulping my last drink of coffee, and once again while still in my robe, I went off to find the gifts I had purchased for Christmas. Because I have been picking up things here and there over this past year, I had to go into a closet and pull out all the purchases and start separating them into piles for the different kids and grand-kids. What a job! It took ALL day again! Al shuffled off to the post office while I cleaned up the wrapping paper. Dinner came and went and then we watched the Country Christmas show on t.v. while I began to write out Christmas cards. Those two words are beginning to form in my mind….(Bah! Humbug!) Thanksgiving and Christmas are TOO close together and there is TOO MUCH to get done in such a short period of time. So, as he was getting ready for bed, I sat in my chair the second day in my robe, not having stepped one foot out of our house. Tomorrow will be a banner day when I peel my nightgown off, take a shower, wash my hair, put on my makeup, PUT ON MY CLOTHES, and begin a normal day. Please God, don’t let me die in my sleep looking like this!
“You are so cute!”
Honest to God, if there was ever a proof that love is blind to our flaws, the proof came from a little 2 year old boy and a 70 year old man, a son and his father who both chose to see me with their hearts. I don’t think love is blind. I think the heart trumps the eyes when love is involved. The heart has a much more accurate vision of a human being than our eyes have.
I am thankful! Oh, yes! I am VERY thankful to be loved for my essence, my presence, and my importance to their lives. Exterior beauty fades, my mirror proves this on a daily basis. However, the most important beauty your loved ones see is the beauty you create in the world around you. Perhaps they are the mirror to our loving actions throughout a lifetime? I sure hope so…..I have loved them as best I knew how.
“Beauffiful?” (Emphasis on the f, and no t) ” So Cute?”
Well thank you very much sirs. My cup runneth over because of your gratitude to me.
(Oh…and I threw Bah! Humbug! out the door. The house looks Christmasy and the packages are in a truck rolling towards Minnesota! Life is good and it is now time for bed. I am feeling grateful for all we accomplished these last two days!)