never stops teaching.
Journaling for awareness. Growing for life.
When the New Year began, I put away all my holiday decorations, took a deep breath, and thought, now things will calm down. But suddenly there were birthdays to celebrate, doctors to see, school variety show acts to coordinate, Girl Scout Cookies to help sell, home projects to complete, and other excitement to instigate. Life is full… wonderful.
A morning last month, Brennan (now four and a half) asked me if I’d play trucks with him—one of his favorite things to do. At the time I was in the middle of making lunch and cleaning out the refrigerator. “I can’t right now; maybe in just a little bit,” I told him, “Why don’t you help me make lunch.” But by the afternoon I was driving Keegan to his guitar lesson and helping Adeline with homework. “Can you please play trucks with me?” Brennan asked again as I was cleaning up after dinner and trying to get the dog out of the clean laundry basket. “Oh buddy, I can’t right now. I will in just a little bit. Would you like to help me put the laundry away?” I asked him. We played hotel while putting the laundry away. But when I went to read him his bedtime story, I realized I hadn’t played trucks with him. Not once that whole day.
When I set out to do my student-mother project in 2009 (to try to be present as a mom and see what my kids had to teach me about being at peace), I had two little ones at my feet. While there were more sleepless nights back then, there were also fewer distractions, less places to have to be, less school and sports related activities to volunteer for and participate in. As the kids get older, being present as a mother poses new challenges. It’s something I have to keep working at.
That’s why that night, after I tucked the kids into bed, and got a phone call from an organization I love, asking if I’d help spearhead a fundraiser, I graciously told the woman, “I can’t right now.” It was the third time I’d said those words that day and the first time they felt right. “I’ve got another big project going on at the moment,” I explained.
I love this project I’m working on—raising these kids. It’s hard for me to not want to do it all, but sometimes I just need to stop and play trucks. Brennan will be in school every day next year, so I’m going to savor this time with him.
Today Brennan wants to paint. “What should we paint?” I asked him over breakfast. “The marshmallow sky,” he told me. So I’ll let the dishes sit, and I’ll let the dog sleep in the laundry basket. Because what could be better than painting and finding marshmallows in the sky?