Like most mamas, I want everything for my kids.
Only I forget that “everything” isn’t what they want at all. They want something: that “something” is a very specific something at a very specific moment that likely isn’t the something that I want to give at that moment.
“Look at me, Mom! Come here!” is shouted from the playroom fourteen times a day, thirteen of which are likely delivered when I am making dinner/doing laundry/cleaning up a spill on the floor/talking on the phone/trying to figure out what exactly the dog got into.
While I love to plan “special” things for my family, things I imagine will provide a plethora of quality time – trips and crafts and picnics - the demand from my kids is for me to be in the moment with them, right now. Truthfully, often the trips and crafts and picnics ultimately end up being a bit overblown and ridden with motion sickness, or glue that won’t bind, or bees that want to nibble on our turkey sandwiches.
It is really when I relinquish control – the control I so long to have – that our best moments, our time together truly becomes quality time.
This morning, instead of rushing them off to school, I said yes to square dancing with my nine-year old in the living room. I said yes to fixing valentines in need of blue lollipops instead of pink ones. I let a hug go on and on and on. I did not peel anyone off of me while they still needed to be exactly there. I let my six-year old explain for the sixth or seventh time – in February – what he wants to be for Halloween.
When they left for school, I couldn’t help feeling like our two hours of what is normally a rushed, crazy morning time – because I hadn’t insisted that it be, was something else completely.
It was quality time and it was lovely.