My boys are so precious…so beautiful to me, but a lot of the time I don’t see them through the fog in my own mind. Many of my days look like this picture – a million focal points in-between them and me.Rushing around to make plans, to take care of a home, to brush my own teeth…maybe some make-up too – check email, check email again…answering one or two. “Sweet-boy, could you please please go play with your train set, or your Daniel Tiger figurines, or any of your other gazillion toys…mommy has work to do – just give me five minutes.” The sweet boy mostly doesn’t listen; he mostly always claws his way onto my lap with tears and bangs my keyboard, driving me crazy. This morning I gave in…very reluctantly…it took me 90 minutes (90 minutes!!! That’s a lot of whining folks!) of fighting for me time to realize it wasn’t worth it. I wasn’t going to win. I read all the stories and attempted to build a train track, (seriously that is and should always remain Jerrod’s department), but the tug towards the million other things I needed/wanted to get done remained.
Last night I put our youngest to bed and less than 2 hours later he was up, needing me. I huffed and puffed my way upstairs, totally annoyed. I picked him up from his crib, cuddled him to my chest, and with a ton of bricks it hit me – I get to be his mama…I get to be HIS mama. I cuddled him longer than I needed to, his tiny fingers wrapped around mine. I get to be his mama…
It’s those moments where my world just stops. It’s those moments where I question everything that fills my head on a moment-by-moment basis…the fog.
Why is it such a fight to be present? Is it just me? I’ve been pondering and praying and there is just no easy answer. It’s not realistic to always drop everything and play with my boys. There actually are a million things I need to accomplish. Is it as simple as scheduling time to be intentional? I don’t think so…when they need me and when I want to be needed rarely line up. Ultimately, it’s not even good for them to always have my attention…they need to learn to entertain them selves, to play for play’s sake. But I can’t always ignore them, nor do I want to. It’s a daily struggle and the right choice for one moment is likely different than the right choice for the next moment. Parenting, we’ve found, is not a “If A, then B.” But seriously – that would be way easier.
What I do know is that I want to keep fighting…I want to get better and better at recognizing the moments when I need to be still, when I need to play, when I need to get down on my hands and knees and dig in the dirt – reliving my own childhood through theirs. I want to study my oldest child’s hands, watch his facial expressions, learn the way he processes life – to see life the way he sees it. If I don’t learn this with him, I’ll miss his brother’s childhood completely.Mom’s joke that when we play with our kids, time stands still. We glance at our watches and Can.Not.Believe that only 10 minutes have passed. 10 minutes? Those 10 minutes felt like 2 hours of chase, 2 hours of reading stories, 2 hours of digging in the dirt…but it was only 10 minutes. 10 minutes that meant the world to them. I will keep fighting for those minutes.My sweet boy…so beautiful to me.