At the end of a particularly unproductive day, I found myself feeling exasperated at my inability to get anything done with two toddlers constantly underfoot. I decided to call my older sister, Treisa, for some advice. She has three active boys, yet she remains cheerful and calm. Treisa commiserated with me and said my struggles brought to mind an experience she had had shortly after moving from their small trailer.
Treisa had expected that after the move into a larger home, her children would build toy castles somewhere other than in front of the kitchen sink and would no longer need to use the pile of laundry she was folding as the base for their hide-and-seek games. Somehow, though, that change never occurred—her children continued to exist in a sort of holding pattern around her legs. But, she told me, one day she came across a passage of scripture in Mark 10:13–14, 16 that helped her overcome her frustrations.
After our conversation I read:
“And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them.
“But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. …
“And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them.”
I noticed that just before this incident with the children, Christ was challenged by the Pharisees. He easily could have felt tired or irritable, yet He welcomed the children, picked them up, and blessed them.
I pondered this selfless act of love, focusing on what it could mean for me as a mother. I realized that too often I pushed my children away. But if I follow Christ’s example, then even when the laundry and dishes are piling up, the bills need to be paid, and I’ve had too little sleep, I can stop, take my children in my arms, and love them. Perhaps this was what my sister was trying to tell me—when your children are in your arms, they are no longer underfoot.