No too long ago, my 6-year-old daughter was kind enough to point out (some of) the ways in which I am failing as a mother.
“Mom, there are three things you are supposed to do with us that don’t cost money…
One, love us. You do that.”
Okay, so far so good.
“Two, pick flowers with us. You don’t do that.”
Hmm. A little hard to do in November, but I’ll mark that on the calendar for May.
“Three, make cards with us. You don’t do that.”
Okay, so I’m one for three.
That’s not bad.
If I were, say, Derek Jeter.
Unfortunately, when you’re a mom, your batting average is supposed to be closer to like, 1000.
But my daughter is right.
Granted, she makes about 47 cards a day. She makes them for me, for her grandparents, her friends, her teachers, President Obama.
And she always wants me to help her.
And I pretty much always say, “Not now.”
But really, if I’m going to be honest, I should say, “No. Not now. But not later either. Because after I do this laundry, I still have to clean up in the kitchen. And then I have a few things to do on the computer. And I still haven’t even gotten to organizing those shelves in the playroom. Or putting away your summer clothes. So, actually, there is no chance in hell that I will be making anything with you today. Or in the next 12 years, for that matter.”
After that, there was this…
A couple nights after the 6-year-old gave me that talking-to, my 3-year-old tried on a new pair of pajamas.
They weren’t really even new. They were hand-me-downs from my aunt.
But you would have thought I just told her she was going to Disneyworld when she put them on.
She was so happy.
From a stupid pair of pajamas.
She ran into the kitchen to show me. Her smile was huge.
I took her picture so I could show my aunt.
And then I told her to get out of the kitchen.
So not only have I lost the ability to find joy and happiness in life’s most very simple pleasures, but I am slowly sucking that happiness out of my children as well.
But I still wasn’t really aware of what I had been doing or what I was missing out on.
Until a couple nights after that when we watched Brave.
We didn’t get to see it in the theater, so we made a movie night of it.
I kind of thought it was scary. And so did my three, six, and seven-year-olds.
The three-year-old was on my lap. The six-year-old was leaning on my right side. The seven-year-old was leaning on my left side.
There was a fire going. The Christmas lights were lit up outside.
It really was perfect.
And then there was one pivotal scene in the movie. Not so much for any of the characters, but for me.
Merida had a flashback to when she was a small child, and was being comforted by her mother. It obviously made a big impression on her.
And it made a big impression on me.
It clicked on that lightbulb in my head.
I had an Oprah aha moment.
Instead of taking even just one minute to create one of these moments for my children (and me), a moment which could potentially last a lifetime for them, I consistently choose to have a moment instead with the laundry.
Or the vacuum.
Or the computer.
So today, we just so happen to have nothing to do. No parties, no games, no practices. NOTHING.
Of course, the first thing I thought was I am going to get so much shit done around this house today.
But I think I’ll put that on hold.
I’ve got more important things to do today.
Today, I’m going to make some memories.
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