Mother as a verb

So much to do.  I fell behind on laundry over the weekend & also never finished cleaning the kitchen as I had planned.  I fell asleep Sunday night with a list in my head.  We would have a reading lesson in the morning & then I would shoo the kids off to play while I cleaned, caught up the laundry (five loads should do it), sorted the mail & updated the website.

Well, Si woke up around 5am with a tummy ache.  He climbed into our bed…& bleecchhh…puked all over.  My first thought was, Damn, even more laundry.

I cleaned Si up, stripped the bed of sheets & blankets, made the girls their breakfast, drank my coffee without enjoying it.  Si got sick again, another load of laundry, dishes, feeling ever more frustrated, falling behind, so much to do.  If I could just get it done, get caught up…


Look at him.  He needs me.

What is important here??  At this moment, what is truly important?

So I let it go.  With great effort, I pushed the list from my mind.  I curled up next to Si.

We played many games of squares & tic-tac-toe.  We watched Piper & Esther, in full on diva mode, pull out & model all of their summer clothes.  Later, as the girls napped, Silas & I sat outside on the porch swing & watched the storms blow in.  Then we lay together & watched tv, he fell asleep to my touch, safe with me.  And as the muddy dog prints dried on the kitchen floor, I knew that I had made the right choice.

I wanted to write this down, to remember because I often do not make the right choice.  Life is just so damn…busy.  It is so wickedly easy to be swept up in a tornado of projects & chores & bills & worries.  Just a cog in the machine.  Although I am almost always physically present for the kids, I struggle every day with keeping my mind present.  To be here now.

I do not wish to helicopter parent, to orchestrate every moment of their day or cater to their every whim.  That would be a great disservice to my kids.  But I do need to keep my eyes & my mind open to when I am truly needed.  In those moments, nothing else matters.  The machine can wait.

The lists, the house, the website…these are my jobs, yes.  But anyone can do those jobs.  My important work, what will be remembered…is mothering.  It is the most important work of my life.  No touch is as soothing to a sick child as his mother’s touch.  No sound as sweet as her voice.  No sleep as deep as when wrapped in her arms.  Above all else, I mother.


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