I couldn’t see the laundry anymore because the tears blurred my vision. But I kept folding. Folding and praying. “God, help me remember how quickly this is going by. Help me appreciate every single day–even the hard ones. Show me the beauty in each moment–even the bad ones.”
I thought of David, pleading with God, “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12). He was probably having one of his own, “last hair washing” moments, those moments with the brevity and speed of life strikes you and you realize you can’t put on the brakes. He wanted enough wisdom to slow down and appreciate each day as a gift from God because he realized when it’s gone, it’s gone.
The cure isn’t to slow down. That’s impossible. The cure is a heart of wisdom. The wisdom to know that broken dishes, stained clothes, and spilled food are never reasons to lose your temper. The wisdom to know that school assignments can always be done later, after the sun sets and the mud puddles have all dried up. The wisdom to know that every moment is a sacred moment–changing diapers, snuggling on the sofa, swinging at the park, even washing hair. They’re all sacred, if you can just slow down enough to see it.
Years went by. Then came the fateful day. A ball was headed toward the goal, and Katie was determined to keep it out. She dove for it, and we heard it–crack! A quick trip to the emergency room and we found out that Katie had fractured her wrist. That meant six weeks in a cast.
You can’t wash your own hair when your hand is in a cast.
When I realized that, my heart practically jumped for joy–not for the broken wrist (what kind of a sick mom would I be?) but that I got a second chance! I got another shot to slow down and appreciate washing her hair. I got to put on the brakes! I let Katie pick out a brand new shampoo–a sweet-smelling shampoo for brunette hair. We got some towels, she laid down on the kitchen counter with her head in the sink, and I got to wash her hair. Each time I did, we would joke around and laugh about it and enjoy every. single. moment.