I prayed before my eyes opened this morning just for renewed presence and patience with my kids. I prayed to be the Mom they need, who gives them her best and serves them lovingly and with joy.
Last week was a great week for blogging, and I have to admit I thoroughly loved it. I enjoyed the attention and was happy to feel I'd shared some things that so many people found helpful. I felt like my old blogging self might be back to stay.
And I guess she might be, still. But looking back over that same week, I'm aware that while I was writing and taking pictures and responding to comments, I let my kids down. We didn't ever get around to making the mousling Valentine's treats for their classmates, so I'll be making those by myself today, without Bean, and I know she'll be sad we didn't work on them together. (I will save two or three for her to make, though, just not all 33.) I didn't play any games with them, and we didn't snuggle together in the Cozy Room nearly as often as they asked me to. I didn't focus as well as I needed to on Peabody's potty training, and then got really frustrated with him over the resulting accidents.
I don't feel guilty and I'm not beating myself up and I'm not asking you to tell me I'm a great Mom. I'm guessing Bean and Peabody didn't notice a huge difference in their everyday lives. Taking time for my own interests and pursuits can actually make me better at nurturing and encouraging theirs. I just know that last week I let the emotional, heart-balance slip too far toward myself, and too far away from my number one job: them. They got some good stuff from me -- Bean and I had a great date yesterday afternoon - lunch and a play with our friends, and I set aside time every day to spend reading to Peabody. But they also got left to their own devices at times that, when I see them in the rear-view mirror, I wish they'd had their Mom fully engaged, loving and laughing and comforting and guiding rather than impatiently scolding or barking instructions over a shoulder as her eyes were locked on this bright, magnetic screen.
I want this family always to know they matter most, and I don't think that's what my actions communicated last week, whether they received the message or not. Gosh, I hope they didn't.
Last night after our busy day, I put Bean to bed and soon after, she began coughing (she's had a cold this week) and didn't stop for awhile. I went back to her room and had her sip water and breathe in and out slowly as I sat on the edge of her bed, reassuring her that everything was okay, and she was fine, and not to worry. When she stopped coughing, I thought to leave the room and go back to folding laundry. But then I stopped and thought about the Mom I want to be sure my precious daughter knows and remembers, and I turned back and lay down beside her, something I haven't done in a few months, and rubbed her back and stroked her hair and kissed her forehead and told her how beautiful she is, and how much I love her. I could feel her relax into me and just ... rest.
And I felt the scale move back level again. Simple gestures, a tiny restoring click and peace spread out within me, and within her. That's the click and the peace I want for us in the week ahead.
What's your prayer or hope for the week ahead?