The days seem to flurry by, the weekends most of all. Chores, house projects, errands and inevitable small crisis take up so much time. Meals, more snacks than I can count and the clean up in between. We try to block out time to spend, with each of them. One on one, really listening and watching, trying to see them as they are, and a glimpse of who they are becoming.

But of course there are three of them and only two of us, and all the work that remains. The baths and bedtime stories, extra long since it’s a Saturday. Clothes laid out for church tomorrow, tucking in and goodnight kisses leave us with little left for just the two of us.

Then the remaining dishes, last minute tidying up, reviewing of the plans for the next day or the week ahead. Not much time left for us to connect. To remember that once we had more time and we thought we were busy then. To look forward to when we’ll have just us time again. To find a way to stay knit together without wearing holes in spots and coming unraveled with the constant strain of life and family. Without us, there would be no them. We need to keep it together for us all.

And when I finally relent and surrender to my own fatigue, before I can close my eyes, I regret the time not spent with that third cord in our marriage. The one who brought us together and sustains us still. So I whisper a pray before sleep overtakes me.

“Thank you, for everything. Send your protection around this house. Let each of the children come to know your love. Forgive me, again, for my many failures. Help my husband to remember again your goodness. Thank you for always being there.”