Piles and Smiles

What makes you smile? 

Really smile? I’m not talking about that “fake-ish turning up of the mouth in those instances we’re supposed to smile” smile. I mean the “oh-my-gosh-that-is-so-great-I-may-never-forget-this-moment” smile. 

Lately, I’ve been having a lot of those genuine smiles. The kind where my heart and brain seem to smack right into each other. The reason? I  got what I always wanted! Piles! 

Piles? Piles of what?

I’m sure that seems a a tad bit silly, especially with all the “No Clutter” magazines that line the checkout shelves. And, I’m all for things having a place. Who likes a messy house? But, these piles are different. 

When  I was in second grade, we moved into a big two story house. I am the oldest and have three siblings. What a trooper my mom was! Not only did she chase us around in that big ol’ house, she also became the picker-upper of things.

I remember she used to go through the house and pick up our belongings and put them in separate piles on the stairs. 

The theory was, that we were supposed to pick up our piles on the way up to our rooms. Thinking back, I remember having to be reminded time after time. After time. After. Time. 

Now that I’m a mother, those thoughts make me chuckle. Especially since I dreamed of being a mom f-o-r-e-v-e-r. 

For five years, my husband and I found ourselves repeatedly saying, “everyone else in the world has a baby, why can’t we have a baby?”

Oh my gosh, I can’t even begin to tell you how much I wanted a baby and all those little things that accompany a life with a baby. The bottles, diapers, newborn clothes, blankets, little, tiny shoes, rattles, toys, the baby shampoo, I wanted them all. 

For me, infertility was like a an overgrown garden hedge that I just wasn’t quite tall enough to see over. But, instead of having my entire view blocked, there were glimpses of everything I was missing inbetween gnarled branches. 

Grace and faith stepped in and chopped those branches right out of that hedge. A bouncing baby arrived after I was finally able to stay pregnant. 

I was beyond excited! I got to have those bottles on the counter, the little heaps of size zero clothes in the hamper, and baby blankets strewn throughout the house. 

That bitty baby is now nine. His things and needs have evolved a bit with each passing year. The toys in the toy box change. The baby books that were once replaced with toddler books, have now become chapter books and comic books. 

My favorite thing right now is when he comes running into the house, kicks off his shoes, drops his coat on the floor, and keeps on running. 

Sure, I could stop him and make him pick up them up, but I don’t. 

Instead, I find myself smiling, grinning almost. Once upon a time, my house was too clean, too quiet, and too empty. Even nine years later, I don’t forget that road. 

Now my house is filled with bare feet, overflowing bookshelves, way too many Legos, and just like I dreamed of, the perfect amount of piles and smiles.  


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