This morning, I dropped off my kindergartener to her school, and then my three-year-old to her preschool class. We skipped from the car into her school building and then walked to her classroom in silence, taking in all the sights and sounds of other families walking in and making their way to their own classrooms. We arrived to her classroom door, and I handed her the folder to place in the basket, and then her lunchbox to slide into her assigned cubby. Her teacher met us by the door, and again pointed to her lunchbox cubby, and then placed it there herself, since my girl wouldn’t put it down. All of a sudden, my baby’s blue eyes, usually bright and smiley, were crinkled and full of tears. I squatted down and gave her a hug, surprised by her unexpected shift in emotion. She hugged me tight and I, still unsure as to why she was so upset, squeezed her back. I let her go, and then her teacher picked her up, now wailing and kicking, and I slid out the door and through the exit door into the sun, still dazed that my usually happy baby was so wildly upset. I drove home, reliving our whole morning together, beating myself up at how I could have been more kind, more patient, more nurturing, and less frazzled, less frustrated, and less short on patience. My little girls are such gifts to me, and I need to treat them with care, not as if they are a chore. Some days are easier, but oh Lord Jesus, please fill me up so that I pour out onto my girls your love, grace, patience, and kindness, and not my own dry and weary flakes of self.