When I think about last night I smile. Not when I think about bedtime. Not when I remember the tiny toddler angry in his crib, kicking the already broken side rail. Not when I try to figure out why he went from happy guy to angry baby in the blink of an eye. But before that, at dinner time, awesome.
I remember when my tiny toddler wouldn't even come to the dinner table. Then he would show up in his chair but refuse to participate in anything meal related. He would scream, on purpose, during the prayer. He would lunge across the table trying to grab things from his brother. He would throw his food on the floor. And, sometimes, he still does.
But last night, when I asked who wanted to say the prayer, fully expecting my little guy to remain silent and my super six year old to step up, his hand shot up in the air. My tiny toddler wanted to say the prayer? Alrighty then. He clasped his hands, fingers laced together. He brought them over his head and started singing. "God made rainbows, God made rainbows, sunshine too, sunshine too." He brought his still clasped hands down under his chin. "Now we say our blessing, now we say our blessing. Amen. Amen." Every word was clear. Every word was respectful. He wasn't shouting the words or purposefully being loud. He was praying. I turned from watching my young son and locked eyes with my sweet husband across the table. Both of us had tears in our eyes. A 20 second prayer. A moment of quiet in the loudness that is our lives. A glimpse at a calmer future.
After the super six year old was finished eating and the tiny toddler was done staring at his "oatmilk", (this is how he says "oatmeal" and it is his new go to food. He doesn't really eat it, but he wants it and he likes stirring the brown sugar into the bowl of steaming oatmeal.), the boys left the table. I asked them to please go upstairs and play, something they usually do not like to do without me. This time, off they went. A few moments later I heard footsteps on the stairs. Giggling. Whispers. I could tell that the super six year was in command. Orders were whispered in the dark of the dining room. I jumped as loud pops sounded behind my kitchen chair and then I heard clatters as the suction darts fell to the floor. We were being shot at!
Suddenly a dart flew through the air over my sweet husband's head and stuck to the red and brown checked wallpaper. Then a dart hit my husband in the head. He got up from the table and staggered over to the sofa in the living room, falling over, dead. Much to the delight of the boys. I sat at the table, laughing along with them. My sweet boys. They were using their imaginations. They were playing together. They were working as a team to take us down. They were on a spy mission and they played their spy game for a long time. Together. China and Russia were trying to take us down.
When I am carrying the tiny toddler like a football under my arm out of daycare because he won't walk. When I am turning up the radio to drown out his screaming and when I am dodging projectiles being thrown at me from the backseat because I forgot to remove his shoes when we first got in the car. When I am angry and frustrated and think I can't do this a moment longer, I will remember last night. I will remember how I felt when I heard my tiny toddler singing the meal time prayer, his voice strong and clear. I will remember his smile when he got through the whole prayer. I will remember how happy everyone was when they boys were on their spy mission. Sometimes it seems as though the mountain is insurmountable, but last night the hope was strong.