At a quarter past midnight, just after curling up in bed, I realize something.
The kids have preschool tomorrow. They need lunch.
Clearly I have yet to find my groove with this going-to-school stage of parenthood. I drag myself sadly out of bed and make my way over to the fridge to see what my options are. Slim pickings. I also have yet to get organized enough to create sensible shopping lists and meal plans. No surprise, therefore, that we’re out of bread.
Thankfully, we did have the right stuff for a homemade version of Lunchables. I don’t remember when Lunchables first came out, but the concept is brilliant. Just the kind of DIY, make-it-just-as-you-like-it, finger-food-without-too-much-messiness kind of meal that young kids prefer. It may not be the most amazing meal, but it will be eaten.
Preparing lunches like this has given me new appreciation for simple touches that bring a little extra delight to my kids. I don’t arrange food into fanciful images nor do we have cutesy plates or utensils. They eat like us, with the exception that a bunch of their food ends up anywhere else but their mouths. Nevertheless, I want to make food fun for them and I’ve discovered some useful tools at the local Japanese supermarket that make it quick and easy. Leave it to the Japanese to make even plain food look cute. And who knew that egg could be molded into a heart? Even I can’t help crack a smile at the sight of it.
Making lunch at midnight is not preferable. But it was peaceful, standing alone in the quiet dark with just the small light above the sink casting a faint glow to the kitchen.
While coaxing the egg to become a heart, I hear Tigerlily stir. I listen to her shuffling footsteps, drowsy with sleep but determined to make their journey down the hallway. She passes by the kitchen and goes straight to our bedroom door, not noticing me. I call out to her softly, “Hey sweetie, I’m over here.”
Through half-closed eyes and a confused frown, she looks over at me and mumbles, “Mommy, I need you.”
I scoop her up and feel her arms wrap around my shoulders and neck. I feel the faint rhythm of her fingers patting my back in response to me patting her back. I feel a song well up in my heart as I hold my daughter close.
We sway together for a moment in the kitchen. Just me and her. An unexpected moment together. As we dance, I sing to her in whispers…
you are my sunshine
my only sunshine
you make me happy when skies are grey
you’ll never know dear
how much I love you
so please don’t take my sunshine away
What started out as a forgotten task, an annoyance that interrupted my desire for sleep, ended surprisingly in a sweet memory.
I meant to mold an egg into a heart. Instead God enters the scene and molds my heart to see yet another glimpse of His goodness with an ordinary visit from my daughter.
I do a million different things a day. Some are important, most are not. It’s a wonderful thing when a task or duty at hand, no matter how important or urgent, is interrupted by an unexpected reminder for the heart to sing.
For that is what my heart is ultimately made to do.
Sing to the Lord a new song,
his praise from the ends of the earth. Isaiah 42:10