The sprinklers turned on.
Sunscreen had been slathered.
I sat down in the wrought iron chair, the warmth of the sun beating down on my back.
The sounds of my four squealing brought delight to my heart.
I watched as they ran, soaked and soggy, treading the length of the yard.
There are too few moments like these lately.
Most often it’s happening while I do other things.
Preoccupied and consumed with what doesn’t really matter, my days become filled with
tasks instead of the relationships that do.
“Look Mom!” the middle ones shout, pleading for my attention as they are working together to fill a bucket. Just a smile and a glance make them happy and I acknowledge the sweetness of the two who are normally fighting but now are united in fun.
I praise the eldest, for aiding his baby sis when she slips and falls.
His hug comforts her enough until she can run to my arms.
They all sit on the deck to warm and I share stories about when they were small, the boys just rollie pollie soggy bottomed babies. Our days then were still busy, but I was more intentional about my time with them. Less distracted.
Just one more round through the water and a game of Keep Away.
“Please can we eat lunch out here? Please?” They all chorus together and how can I refuse those pleading smiles….
“Tell us more stories Mom. We love your stories!” And I indulge them with my memories because I love to remember. And because they’ve given me so much to be thankful for.
I’ve listened for so long, to the wisdom of experience mothers who've told me to enjoy it because it goes fast!
And I worry and think I won’t because I don’t know how.
What they forgot to tell me was how....
How do I enjoy it when it’s so hard? How do I truly enjoy this busy phase of life that’s full of messes? Full of drama. Filled to the brim with doubts and choices and worries. How can I enjoy it when all I think about it how much I mess up?
The reality is, that to my kids, all that matters is the time I give them. Watching them play. Looking at their newest invention. Bragging over the next watercolor masterpiece. Cheering them on when they learn a new trick, or master a new skill. And actually participating in some of that too.
"Let us not love with word or with tongue,
but in deed and truth."
1 John 3:18
I haven't figured it all out yet. God continues to grow my understanding everyday.
For now I will choose these moments over others. These ones where they ask me to be there with them.
These ones that just happen without planning or intention, just intention to be there.
Right there with them. The list can wait for now, the cleaning can too.
I'm choosing to be with them without distractions.
That's how I enjoy this!
Be sure to check out my other posts on Mothering:
this moment, A True Friend, On Mothering, an ordinary momma, Meek and Quiet, $7 and a Chocolate Bar, brother love