I love when Drew clenches his fist and laughs a big fake laugh. I love when he wakes up in the morning and grins ear to ear when he first sees me. I love hearing the pitter-patter run of his feet on the tile floor. I love his blank funny looking crooked facial expressions with his head tilted just so. I love that he lays his head down on my shoulders and starts humming the tune to "I Love To See The Temple" or "I Hope They Call Me on A Mission."
I love that each morning, Joshua runs to where I am in the house with open arms and a big hug as though he hasn’t seen me in days. I love his word pronunciations with no ‘r’ or ‘l’ sounds. I love that he still wants ‘holdies’ . I love that he says the word ‘actually’ when he changes his mind about something. I love the way he stares at photos or pictures of cowboys with a longing in his eyes. I love his facial expressions. I love that he wears almost the same outfit everyday.And I love his random thoughts, like when he was getting out of the car at Grandma Laurie's house recently, dressed in his cowboy garb, complete with hat and rope, he announced, "There's nothing to 'wope' here. I should have brought some calves." (?!?)
I love Ellie's sleepy face in the mornings. I love her grown-up expressions and conversations. I love her love of baby dolls and hearing her call them (or her little brothers) 'sweetheart'. I love the grocery bags that she fills with paper, notebooks, etc to go and play. I love that she loves shoes. I love her quiet, pondering face. I love that she wants so badly to be grown up, but is still a little girl. I love (ok, not really) that I sometimes still catch her sucking her thumb.
I love Luke's unique personality and his desire and confidence to like what he likes. I love (ok, not always) his constant chatter. I love that Luke's eyes can't help but light up when he sees me at the school, even though his body language tries to say he doesn’t notice me/or care I'm there. I love the way he stares out the window as we pass horse fields until they are out of view. I love his inquisitive mind and his desire to work hard. I love that he tells me he plays with Ellie at recess.
I love Megan's maturity. I love (ok not always) that she mothers her siblings. I love that I never have to worry if she’ll remember her manners and be polite and respectful. I love that she explores her talents. I love that she is full of energy and always has something to say. I love her desire to be kind to others. I love that she told me about seeing Ellie at school and the proud look on Megan's face when she said, "Ellie really is the cutest first grader."
(Megan and Cousin Annie)
Of course in reality a few of these joys (ie. constant chatter, hearing someone mother her siblings and a sleepy morning self) also cross over into whatever the antonym of joy is... And though my house is rarely quiet; if it isn’t a tantrum it is an over excited child that needs to wind down, if it isn’t a musical instrument, it is a drill sound coming from the garage, if it isn’t laughter, it is screaming (Drew’s latest antic), if it isn’t tattling, it is whining, and so on and so forth...
But truly, I find joy in my children.
... most of the time