About a year ago, I woke up to a notification on my phone telling me that a photo app that I have made a video for me. I never really paid attention to the notices from that app before, but for some reason, that day I opened it up.
Within moments of opening the video, my eyes were filled with tears.
What I saw was a compilation of videos from years past, set to an instrumental violin background.
But what really got me was the parts of the old videos that were included. Most of the clips weren’t from the “main event” on the original video. It was the little candid moments happening around me, while I was recording. Little high pitched voices, and squeals, random hugs and kisses, bits of personalities and traits that have long since been outgrown. A thumb-sucker lounging on the couch, a diapered toddler running around, a little mama rocking her baby doll. Moments that live in the back of my mind, but are tucked away in my memory.
This video. Ohhh, this video.
While I was recording my (at the time) six year old daughter preparing to do a crazy jump in the pool, my then three year old runs into the frame with a voice so high, dripping wet in her bathing suit, blonde curls everywhere, and jogs my memory. The little girl with the big personality who ran the roost. It feels like a lifetime ago.
Because it was. We have since added three more children to our family.
And the video knew that too.
Little faces and giggles, rough housing, snuggling, and playing with each other in a mess of a house – toys everywhere, a pack of diapers on the coffee table. Babies scooting for the first time, a blooming softball player practicing in the backyard, Jenga in front of the Christmas tree. Video of 4 big sisters finding out there would be another baby. Christmas morning. So many little snippets of life that had been tucked away.
It got me thinking.
For some reason.
On that fateful day, when my body is tired, and I meet the Lord, if He asks me what mattered in my life, what was my greatest joy while I walked on this earth, this – THIS video, these memories, these precious souls that He allowed me to grow and delivery and nurture and love, THIS will be what I tell Him – Thank you Lord, for letting me be their Mama.
And I will beg Him to let me watch the video HE makes, of all of the mundane, all of the insignificant moments, all the days when I felt so exhausted but with a cup so full, I will BEG Him to let me see it again. I will beg to feel the moments again, I will beg to see their precious newborn faces once more. To hear their cries for the first time, to see their bodies relax as they nurse for the first time, to see their siblings faces as they meet for the first time.
I will ask Him, on my knees, please Lord, let me see their firsts all over, and their seconds and thirds. Their successes and victories and gold medals. Their struggles. Their every days. Let me hear about their day at school, their friends, what they had for lunch. Let me hear it all again.
Let me hold them again. Let me feel the weight of their little bodies on mine. Let me hear their voices – their coos, their first words, their mamamas, and dadadas. Please Lord let me feel it all again.
Let me see their daddy’s face as he holds his first baby, terrified of the future, and then his sixth, with confidence and ease.
Let me smell that intoxicating newborn smell. The one that made me dizzy and smile at my husband, the smile that made him know we were going to have to have just. one. more. baby.
Please Lord, let me see their toothless grins, as the excitement of the tooth fairy is just too much to bear. Let me see the pigtails and matching bows and dresses and my girls wore that just made me so. stinking. happy.
Let me remember the way I felt the day we found out after 5 girls, we would welcome our baby boy. I will remember all the blue, and “baseball shirt” my only baby boy was so obsessed with. Let me see the baths with barbies and Spiderman and splashes and bubbles.
Let me see them all blossom and grow and their faces change as they become teenagers. Teenagers who were babies but are now “bestie,” who beg for coffee and Chick-fil-a. Let me see their faces light up as they evolve into social butterflies.
Let me hold them. Let me hear them. Just one more time.
And when that day comes, when I close my eyes for the last time, and I meet the Lord, I hope that He knows, I know He gave me the greatest gifts.
I won’t think about mortgages, or the extra 10 pounds I have carried forever. I won’t think about the how messy the house was, or my to-do list I’m leaving undone.
No. I wont think about a single thing that weighed me down.
I will remember and beg to relive this life. The babies that lifted me up, the life my husband and I made. I’ll remember the years I happily devoted my body to growing babies and my life to my family.
And on the day that I die, I will thank Him for every second of it.