Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Don't Miss Out on the Oranges, Moms. Trust Me On This One...

HELLO SPRING BREAK!!  We are three days in, and I must say how delighted I am that the laundry and k.p. duties are significantly less challenging to my emotional well-being, since I don't have to conquer them while trying to teach at the same time! Yippee! (It's the little things.)

I'm also delighted to have our oldest son, Benedict, home for the week. I can hear him entertaining Joseph in the living room as I type this. I love to hear them laughing together.
{Ben is Steve's right hand man during our deck building project.}

Steve and I refuse to believe that our biggest boy is going to be in high school next year.  We were in denial until yesterday when his acceptance letter to our school of choice came in the mail. Paper always makes things seem so official.  Dammit.  

As a mother I can look at Ben and, in seconds, see every beautiful stage of his life up to this point. It's a super-power, really.  I'm sure you have felt the same about your own babies.

I wish, so very much, that I could click my heels together and go back to the early years I had with him, especially the days before school and sports began.

What a treasure those days were....the ones that began with, "What should we do today?"

I remember having so much more energy back then! I felt like I could do all of the crafty-exploration-story-time-playground-games-and-snack stuff and still tackle all of the chores during nap time.

Good golly.

I squirm with the discomfort that comes from confessing this hindsight is 20/20 truth:
I wasn't just doing the normal things that every new mom does (hello, homemade baby food).  I was doing everything I thought I should be doing (mostly) for the sake of proving 

You know, in case the check-out lady asked what I was up to today, I could nonchalantly rattle off something Martha Stewartish about organizing the house, weeding the garden, crafting x10 with the kids and topping it all off with a little five miler around town with the boys in the jogging stroller.

Something in my pea-size brain thought that proof of productivity was also proof of motherly competence, or worse yet, motherly love. 

That is a lie.  If you are a mama at home with little ones, do not fall for that big fat falsehood. Love isn't always demonstrated by doing.  To a child, love is most sincerely communicated through being. When we take an undistracted moment to be with them.
Listening to them.
Watching them.
Holding them.
These are the little BIG moments that count.

Even though my list of responsibilities, when it comes to the care of my family, is longer now than ever, I feel not one bit compelled to prove to anyone just how productive I can be.  Circumstances often dictate a necessary obedience on my part to responsibilities and chores.  Neat. What mom in America isn't in the same shoes?

What I do find myself wanting to share with others are the moments in between productivity.

Moments like this, for example:
The other day, I waded through trails of Legos and cracker crumbs just to sit and watch Charlie peel an orange.  It was quite an accomplishment and, even though he mastered the process a while back, it's one that he's very proud of every single time.

He proudly uses his three year old muscles to maneuver a chair over to the fridge, crawls up upon the seat, swings the door that is twice his size open and reaches in for his favorite snack.  I could watch him do this all day.
I pulled up a chair beside him and listened intently as he explained just how to peel the orange.  You have to pull off the stwings, mom, because they are too chewy.
I really admire how children do the simplest things with such great intention.  They take their time and are not hurried or rushed.  He was just so proud of himself. The delight in his eyes, in his smile, said it all.
What a joy to experience, on a daily basis, the spectrum of ages in our family. While the oldest is sinking threes on the court and typing research papers, this guy is pretty happy to be peeling oranges.

What a joy.

Don't miss the oranges, moms. You know, we'll never get this special time back with our children.

Trust me when I say, you will one day long to live these precious moments with your little ones again.

Savor this season while it's here.

1 comment:

  1. OH, Susan - I agree and wish that I hadn't felt so frazzled much of the time when my boys were young. Now I'm the one asking them to hang out and do stuff instead of the other way around.


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