As the sun dropped behind the mountains they began to air up the hot air balloons, and once all were finally set, the countdown began. “10, 9, 8…” the crowd cried out. I didn’t watch the balloons. I just stared at my sweet girl’s face. So mesmerized. So filled with excitement. Shouting as loud as her little lungs could scream. “… 3, 2, 1, GLOW!!” we yelled as the balloons set their fires glowing in unison.
I watched her still, her eyes now wide as saucers. My night was made, my heart content. I felt I would drive to every wine and balloon festival in the nation just to watch her wonder once more.
I knew before I had kids that it would require self sacrifice. However, never had I imagined how much one could love that sacrifice so deeply.
Have you ever watched a momma at the park as her little one tries out the slide for the first time. She beams as though she just won Ms. America. Because to her, this moment is even greater. And although she is at the park when she could be doing so many other things, she cannot imagine anywhere else she would rather be.
How many times has a mom freely cried as her son walks across the stage to receive his diploma. And she could not be more happy if she herself were walking to receive the Nobel Prize. She takes a million photos that one will have to zoom in to see, and even then, only a very blurry face. And yet she looks back on those blurry, bad lighting pictures as though it were Picasso. And she weeps once more.
It is something we don’t really think about. And I think that is why we often find ourselves so exhausted but can not figure out why. Because our days are lived for them. But we do it with such passion that we do not catch that word. Our hearts consumed with such desire to see them thrive, that “sacrifice” seems a foreign phrase in another land.
And so we live our lives in between soccer and ballet, field trips and adventures–their adventures. We do everything possible to make sure they have the best education, the best environment, the best friends. And we don’t really give ourselves much thought in it all. Because when it comes down to it, we find our greatest joy in seeing theirs.
It’s okay to admit your exhausted some days. Sacrifice does that to a momma.
But its the exhausted momma who smiles as her head hits the pillow at the day’s end. Because her daughter experienced ten hot air balloons light their fire at the same time. And that magic in her eyes cannot be compared.
It is called “sacrifice,” but we realize it is simply love. And love knows no end.