Pregnancy and parenting have been the most pivotal and refining experiences of my life. Pregnancy requires utter dependence on faith. Aside from avoiding certain foods/drinks and prenatal care, growing and sustaining life is largely out of our control.
Then there is parenting. It’s the most privileged, yet trying gift I’ve ever received. Like most moms, I try my best to give our kids fun experiences within our means. Other times, I am selfish, and plan our agenda according to what’s needed, or maybe even what I think would be fun.
Take yesterday for example. I was meeting a friend at the rec center to work out and the kiddos went into the kids area, the Sprout Room, to play. Zeke wasn’t thrilled at first, but I knew when I came back for him, he wouldn’t want to leave. I was right. After the rec center, we did a quick run to Trader Joe’s. In the car Zeke said, “Mom, we like never get to play outside.” (yikes…wonder who he gets the word ‘like’ from?)
I thought to myself, what is this kid talking about? I thought to about the past few days. On Sunday, we were at Easton playing in the fountains. On Monday, we went to throw rocks in the creek and then while it was raining, we were playing with one of his best buddies. He responds back, “I just want to go home and play with you and my dry land toys.”
A whhhhhhaaaaaa? His comment made me crack up laughing, but also made me think. I run from thing to thing with the kids. Even when the “things” are FUN, could it be that sometimes, playing at home outside with his mommy and *dry land toys* trumps everything else?
Anyway…later on in the day after Jude napped, we were headed out in the swagger wagon to play with another friend (which happens to be a fun mommy date for me too!). We were pulling out of the driveway and St. Mimi, a.k.a. My mom, swings by for her weekly drop-off of random things. One of the items was a GIANT ART JAR for the Z-man.
Zeke couldn’t wait to get his hands on these crafts and deemed them “Everything I’ve ever wished for” last night. That cute little phrase made me wish that I was the one that bought that for him because he loved it so much. My mom, who knows and loves the kids so much, is able to step back and access my child’s needs because she’s not with them 24/7. I don’t want to admit it, but sometimes she can do this better than I can.
When you are in the thick of parenting, and all of the beautiful messy things it entails, it’s easy to get distracted by busyness and everyday tasks. I realized yesterday, that really I’m filling our day with “stuff” sometimes, just to feel like we’re making memories. My little boys have unique and specific love tanks that need to be filled, and as their mommy, I want to do my best to mother them in a way they need to be mothered. Father, help me!
The bottom line is, when Zeke expressed his love for his dry land toys and crafts, it wasn’t anything new. I just feel like I could really hear him yesterday. I know he loves being busy, but there is a side of him who just wants to play and create at home—with me. I PRAY I can put down the dishes sooner today to let him do just that.
One day at a time. This is my prayer: Let them be little. Let them be heard. Help me be present. AMEN.