I've always had this notion that the little Mr. has the soul of an 80-year-old-man. He just gets things about life that I'm certain didn't come from us. He puts up with me as his crazy, unorganized, flighty mama and often times, I think he's wiser than me.
I'm always running around with about five pots on the burner trying to juggle my many hats...and sometimes I'm oblivious to the fact that I'm rushing my time with my wee ones. In the moment I think to myself, "We've got to hurry this up. I still have to clean the house and get things ready for tomorrow." In the evenings I find myself speeding through storytime and our devotional, tucking the kiddos in bed, giving quick kisses and hugs and then turning out the lights. All the while I'm thinking to myself, "I have so much to do...how am I going to get it all done before bed?!" Once they're in bed and asleep, then I'm usually hit with the delayed realization that I didn't spend quality time with them. Instead, I checked them off my mental list. That feels really horrible.
Last night, I started rushing things again. I was speed reading through our story, and began to rush cuddles, when the little Mr. stopped me. He squeezed me really tight and said, "Mommy, how 'bout you rock me before bed tonight? 'Cause someday I'll grow big and say no."
First, there is no way on this earth I am going to refuse a request like that. Second, I realized my little guy is far wiser than me. I know God was tugging his little heart, and using my sweet son to speak words of wisdom into my own heart... "Don't rush time with your children. Show them they matter and give them your attention and physical love. They need to see your love, grace and mercy. Teach them about Me and My ways."
I picked him up, held him and rocked him, cherishing that moment with him in my arms and remembering all the late nights I spent with him as a baby, pleading with God to not let him grow up too fast. All the while I was rocking him, my sweet Miss was chanting, "Me Nest! Me Nest! Me Nest!" while jumping on her bed. I tucked the Mr. in then grabbed her up and rocked her too...it was wonderful to snuggle that sweet girl and feel her tiny arms around my neck as we rocked back and forth. She kept kissing my cheeks and brushing my hair away from my face...just like I do to her.
Sometimes I need my children's wisdom to put me in my proper place...the role of their mommy. Not the housekeeper. Not the youth assistant at church. Not the blogger. Not the homeschool mom busy preparing lesson plans.
I needed that reminder to slow down and not leave my children in the wake of my busy life. I will never forget a quote from the wise mother of a sweet friend of mine, "Don't think of it as 18 years with your children...think of it as 18 summers." Our time with our children is infinitely short, and as I'm sure many of you have heard from seasoned mothers, "goes far too quickly."
I am challenged to play the game I don't think I have time for. Comb Barbie's hair while the dishes are piled high. Laugh and jump on the couch when the rug needs vaccuming. Read 'just one more story' when we've already read 10. Answer the question I explained yesterday with patience today.
I just want to be completely present.