Children are the anchors that hold a mother to life. – Sophocles
I don’t know if this week will flash in front of me in my final moments. I hope it will. It is the week I understood what saves me.
My daughter was on Spring Break during these last five days of March. In the past, I’ve always struggled with her days off from school, channelling all my energy on filling her empty space with playdates, outings, and time at the park. Part of it is compensation for having just one child. I never want her to feel alone. The other part of it is providing a distraction for both of us. It meant that I wasn’t solely responsible in entertaining her. Another factor, I’m certain, is my aversion to silence. My husband and my mom always tell me, “Rudri, you just don’t know how to sit.” In some very real ways that is true, when we are all eating dinner, my thoughts are on the quickest way to get the dishes cleaned. As a result, I am the first one up as soon as I’m done eating, my hands are under the sink, washing the dishes, while everyone else is still eating. I’m notorious for being hooked into technology, either the iphone or my computer, while doing other things. It is obvious that I’m addicted to being busy, but I’m uncertain on why this is the case.
My original plan of “busy” wasn’t going to work with my daughter because she decided to appoint it “Momma and Me” week. I was a little apprehensive when she first mentioned it. What did Momma and me week really mean? And what was my role in her plan?
She really just wanted me to play with her. I confess that I’m attentive to taking care of my daughter’s needs, but playing with my daughter is not something that comes naturally to me. I rationalize that I am doing everything else for her, so she can play on her own or with my husband or her grandmother. But, I learned, she really was starving for me to do things with her, not for her. We spent Monday coloring together, drawing pictures for one another, played Memory and crafted bead necklaces to decorate our necks. I sat with her and a couple of times I caught her smiling at me. I know she was thinking that Momma was finally playing with her. Not once did she cry, ask to go anywhere, or clamor for anything else. The following few days, we made puzzles together, perused the aisles of the bookstores, went to the zoo, and went for a “Momma and me” lunch together.
As we were eating lunch, I looked over at her. It was the first time I remember sitting, embracing the current space I was in and I recall not being in a hurry to do anything else. She was smiling at me, asking me about when her lunch would come. She uttered the words, “Momma, we are going to eat together. I don’t want Momma and me day to be finished.”
I tried to choke back my tears. I realized for the first time that moment is what saves me.
Do you “play” with your child? Have you shared some memorable conversations during that time? What saves you?
Dangit, you made me cry. I am so guilty of this. I am so busy doing menial tasks that I forget to just SIT with my daughter and give her the best gift of all, my full attention.
Kitch, writing this post made me realize how often I don’t sit and be with her. We had a wonderful time because I wasn’t distracted by everything I “had” to do.
Beautiful…what fabulous memories and heart connections you two are making this week! Makes me a little sad that I don’t have a daughter.
We had a great time making crafts, going to the zoo, and just hanging out. I really enjoyed spending my days with her. Things just automatically slowed down.
My favorite time is with my boys 🙂
Love to hear that Ayala!
What a great week and it sounds like it meant so much to both of you. So sweet, she has a mommy crush!
I never thought about it in terms of a mommy crush. She definitely has that and often times my husband is saying that she justs wants to be so much like me. It was a really good week.
A sting of tears hit my eyes as I read your beautiful post. An amazing gift to be aware and see the grace in the moment. So powerful.
Thanks Denise. There is a certain grace that comes when you realize how aware you become of these ordinary, but important moments. I am glad I am cognizant of the emotion. It makes me want to cherish these moments even more.
Oh gosh this struck a chord with me. When my daughters were growing up other mothers would moan how they dreaded the school holidays while I, on the other hand, was on the big count-down and hated it when the term started again! Absolutely – spending time with our children, playing with them and so getting to know them is so important and those times so precious. I’m really happy for you that you’ve enjoyed the simple delights of this recent break.
Simple delights – that’s what it was exactly. The special part of it was that she didn’t mind what we were doing as long as we were doing it together, side by side.
Just fantastic. Our kids are such great teachers—right on time, right on point. I loved reading this—it felt like the vibe of hanging out rippled right through your words and into my opened heart. I hope we can all do more of that sort of connecting—with our kids and with each other. Thank you for this.
Thanks Bruce. I learn something from her everyday. It has really changed my perspective about so many things. What I valued as important before has completely changed. She is responsible for that transformation.
It is so easy to get caught up in the “needs”, isn’t it? I don’t play nearly enough with my boys, but for some reason (I think that my youngest is 7 and starting to separate), I’ve been doing more of it. Laying down when he asks me to, reading a story, etc… Even with the older two, just making more of an effort to talk even about nothing. Just to talk and be with them.
I get caught up in taking care of her needs and forget that what she will remember is the play time. I certainly enjoyed talking with her and hanging out. Thanks for stopping by!
So lovely. My son and I had a “date” this weekend too. He’s been longing for time alone with me, without the constant tug and pull of his younger brother. We went for a drive and to a favourite family haunt. He told me “Mommy, it’s just so nice to have a lot of time to be alone with you.” Hearted melted!!
I’m glad you had this time!!
That’s so sweet Christine. I love when they articulate what they are feeling inside. Glad you enjoyed your mommy date with your son.
Such a great photo of your little girl! That smile is infectious. Thank you for sharing 🙂
Thanks Windy. When she smiles, I can’t help but feel her energy.
Everytime I take a day to spend with my son, he asks for another. It really is a nurturing act that they do for their parents when they openly state how much they want to spend time with us.
It certainly reaffirms and encourages me when my daughter wants to spend more time with me. It was such a fun week that I can’t wait to do it again.
Rudri…what a great great post. I have tears in my eyes. That is a week she will remember forever. What a great mom.
Thanks Amber. I appreciate you stopping by and commenting. Just as she will remember, I will also recall this week when I am feeling nostalgic for her younger years.
It’s so easy to not play…I feel like I do but maybe not. I need to check in too.
It was a check for me too. I realized how much she craved play.