Roughly a week ago, I stood on the most beautiful mountaintop in Austria and for over an hour I took in God’s creation from the vantage point of a bird. It was breathtaking. I didn’t want the moment to end. As Lee and I hiked to various points of Krippenstein Peak, we commented more than once how we wished the kids were there. They would have loved it. I probably would have enjoyed it slightly less, of course, because I would have been too busy envisioning one of them tumbling over the side…
Our vacation was absolutely perfect. It was relaxing and adventurous. We had ten days to talk and we didn’t spend all of our time talking about the kids, although we spent a good deal of time talking about them. It was just the right amount of time. Not too long, not too short. It was wonderful in every way and I will forever be grateful that we had the opportunity to do that.
But I was ready to come home.
Lee is my family. But he isn’t my complete family. And walking in our back door to the three little faces that make up our complete family was equally as thrilling as climbing Krippenstein Peak (or…you know…riding up the cable car. I don’t climb mountains.)
They had wet hair and jammies on. They smelled better than any flower from any part of the world. They jumped up and down and yelled “Mommy! Daddy! Mommy! Daddy!” It sounded better than any mountaintop bird. They leapt in our arms and squeezed tight…more than once. It was better than any view from any peak of the world.
After a bit of play time and wrestle time we sat on the couch. Sloan, my sweet, tender hearted seven year old looked around quietly, then burst into tears. “I’m sad that you were gone so long,” he cried, big alligater tears glimmering in the corners of his eyes.
And then my heart tore in two.
“We’re home now,” we assured him as he crawled into Lee’s lap.
“I just missed you really a lot,” he said, wiping his nose on the back of his hand. And we got to explain to him about how God has blessed our marriage and about how Mommy and Daddy took some time to just celebrate God’s blessings in our life.
“But you know what?” we told them. “The biggest blessings of our marriage are you guys. Sometimes Mommy and Daddy need to get away and be together just the two of us. But we know that God gave us the greatest gifts of all when he gave you you guys and we are so thrilled to be back with you.”
After we got everyone calmed down and settled into bed, I dragged my weary, jet lagged body around the house and cleaned up a bit. As I walked back to my bedroom and passed Landon’s open door I heard a tiny voice.
“Mommy? Tan you tome hewe pwease?”
There is no amount of fatigue that could have stopped me from walking into that bedroom. I scooped him up and we sat in the yellow rocking chair beside his bed. He put his head on my shoulder, his little nose nestled into the fold of my neck. And as I rocked, his tiny hands patted me on the back.
It was a different kind of mountaintop…and I think I liked it best of all.