The other day I had to tweet:

Playing Bob Dylan’s Christmas album and my 5YO asks, “Why is Cookie Monster singing?

Ever since, I can’t help but giggle every time Dylan’s songs loop through the Christmas Playlist that’s been playing around the clock here. If I squeeze my eyes shut and picture a fuzzy blue muppet, I can really start some hardcore giggling.

Speaking of giggles, since our morning routine has shifted drastically with Hank working out early and then heading straight to work, there’s been time for me to lay in wait under the covers like a shark waiting for a freshly awake Holden to come wandering into our room in the mornings. Lots of shark attacks. And peals of laughter.

It’s an awesome alarm clock for Ewan.

And a really great start to our days.

The boys took it a step further with a huge wrestling match/tickle fest the other night. Just when I thought that they were going to gang up on me, Ewan became my wingman at the last minute and we pounced on Holden. After about 40 minutes of that, our tummies and faces were so sore from laughing that the whole brushing the teeth/jammies on/picking out a story went pretty well and freshly pj’d boys were soon tucked in tightly with songs softly playing from their iPods.

It’s made me rethink some things. Some important things. Some things that I’ve typed out here and had on my heart but just can’t seem to make stick. And then I read this:

I want the people around me to be uplifted by my presence, not bogged down by my contagious chaos.

I tasted that part about “uplifted by my presence” during that tickle fest. And it continued on the following morning with no tears over breakfast slow-pokiness, happy funny giggles in the backseat on the way to school, and then a very silly toddler learning to jump throughout the house punctuated by some random boogie breakout dance sessions in the kitchen to who else, but Bob Dylan.

I’ve made myself really busy lately. What’s new, right? How about trying this on for size:

I don’t care if you have four children and three jobs—we have one human life. And if you can’t make the time, 15 minutes to relate to yourself, everyone else in your life is going to suffer. You have to realize that you are harming other people by making up excuses and not working on yourself. This is serious.

Owie. Get right to the point, whydoncha?

So I stopped. Ok, I only stopped for five minutes, but I’m seriously working my way up 15. And in that five, I laid my hands on my heart to feel it beat and thought, “Who am I, really? And how can I uplift these boys?” So we celebrated.

We celebrated the glorious 35 minutes of sunshine that lies between the end of school and sunset. We found part of an old railroad track a couple of miles west of our house, and I set them free to watch them and how they explore.

One was tall enough to conquer most of the terrain, while one sometimes was swallowed up by it.

But he tried his hand at batting and swatting, which seemed to part that tall grass like the Red Sea.

That afternoon light was shifting and breathing things blue and gold.

Spectacular and breathtaking. God’s handiwork, yes?

He is the original artist and paints both thick and bold, giving our children this amazing canvas to gallop across.

And yet I wonder, how did my amazing five-year-old boy turn so much older? He looks wise and ready, like he just knows.

My last two images: the one that drew me in and made me stop in the middle of a country road sandwiched between a suburban neighborhood and old farmland,

And the one that kissed us goodbye.

Breathing. Taking that remaining 10 minutes today. And lifting them up.

What are you doing with your 15 minutes? And psst…if you’d like to read what I’m printing out to live on my bathroom mirror as a reminder each day, click here.