Wednesday, November 18, 2009

to have and to hold

My heart swells as I look at these.  I couldn't be any more grateful that these precious ones call me Mommy.  They are little rascals, yes.  Active, restless, sometimes overtired, sometimes argumentative.  But brilliant too, each in their own ways.  Emily Rose loves to call her favorite foods "delectible".  Daniel wants me to read out of non-fiction animal science books endlessly.  Timothy spent half of his short birthday party last night having Uncle David quiz him on square roots and multiplication.  Square roots at six years old?

But when I look at them on the screen right this minute (it's 10:00 p.m.), do you know what I'm mostly feeling?  Regret. Regret that I didn't slow down enough to take each of them in my arms today, and love on them and whisper softly to them about how much they mean to me.  I did this only with Anna, my nursling.  She gets the best of me these days.  Our nursing relationship keeps us bonded.  Thank the Lord for that!

When you've looked at your sweet children in photos at the end of a long day, isn't that what you most wish you had done?  I know a yearning to slow down is universal among moms.  And I think most moms feel they fail at slowing down, on most days.  For truly, when we slow down, we get behind on something.  And being behind raises everyone's stress level.  No one wants to dig through large laundry baskets for socks and underwear.  Or have lunch without bread.  Or take a bath without a fresh towel.  Everyone appreciates our diligence, but not our hastiness, or our lack of patience.  Even in our haste, we rarely get even halfway through our to-do lists.

It was a busy day--a homeschooling playdate, for which I made cupcakes this morning.  Followed by a trip to the bank, to the dollar store, and then home to make more cupcakes for AWANA.  I was running all day to meet deadlines.  The homeschooling and AWANA events themselves, I didn't attend, due to Anna's naps and some late afternoon fussiness.  Daddy gladly stepped in, rather than being left with the job of soothing Anna.

Mostly, today's busyness was brought on by myself, by offering last week to bring birthday cupcakes to the playdate and to AWANA.  My children were very excited, and so happy that I did it, but it cost me.

I was not the gentle, quiet-spirited mom I wanted to be.  I was not patient with diaper after diaper, changed at the most inconvenient times.  Or with Timothy, who wanted me to play his new Pay Day board game, even though it was an hour before AWANA and I still had more baking to do.  Or with Daniel, my non-medicated ADHD child, who climbs the walls and buzzes around in his frenzied, highly-strung, me-first way.  He is the most helpful, which seems a contradiction, I know.  He loves to help in the kitchen and with special projects--a quality which on less busy days I find endearing.  But not today.  Today, I let it annoy.

I guess I'm most patient with Anna, even though she's into every cupboard and drawer, distributing the contents for me to pick up, in my spare time.  She needs to explore so she can learn; I try not to confine her unless absolutely necessary.  At eleven months, her exploring hands and her curiosity are her best teachers. Yes, that is an electrical device in her hands.  The mixer, to be exact.  She was really happy to find that baby in my cupboard.

I have no answers for this conundrum of slowing down, while still meeting everyone's physical needs.  I only know that when I look at these photos, I want to hold my babies forever, just as they are right now.  Every day with them is perfect...blessed.

Oh, Lord, how I want to convey that to them!  For them to know the depths of my love for them.  For them to know how much I dearly love having them in my midst.

I fear I'm too imperfect to change.  I'm counting on you, Father, to convey it supernaturally.  Cover this conundrum with your grace, and help each mother to end her days satisfied.  Not only with her kids, but with herself.


Jess said...

i hear this one, miss pam. end of the day regret. my agenda...vs them (even when it comes to school) and what i say or do when things aren't going too smoothly. yeah, not so pretty. it is like paul: doing the things i don't want to do and knowing what it is i do want to do. very convicting. time...never enough.

switching topics - i must say that anna grace looked a little too excited to be holding that there mixer! what a grin of mischievousness! everyone looks wonderful. have a blessed week!

Raisingarrows said...

I, too, feel this. Even Micah (my nursling) is on the move and I find our nursing session are fewer and further between. They just keep growing up and I do not want to miss it b/c I was too busy.

Tomorrow...I will be a mother who is slower and takes more time with them...that is my vow.


Carolyn said...

I am always there -- frequently wishing that I was doing more to nurture. I'm glad you decided to re-enable the comments part of your blog. How are things going with job possibilities with Don?