Saturday, June 11, 2011
I haven't been here lately. I've been here physically, but mentally I've been somewhere else. I haven't been as present as I need to be... for myself, for my spouse, and especially for my kids. So wrapped up in my own stress and fatigue, I realized that I've been guilty of "going through the motions." Doing all the things I'm supposed to be doing, but not feeling them.
And I don't want to be that mom.
I want to be connected... not just THERE, taking up space.
Yesterday, the girl asked me if I could make some biscuits. So I got everything out, and started measuring and dumping, not even thinking about what I was doing. Just a few seconds later, I heard the little voice:
"Can I help?" followed by the unmistakable scraping sound of a kitchen chair being eagerly pushed over to the counter.
The fact that she even had to ask (ordinarily I would have offered) struck me out of my selfish monotony.
She wanted to bake with her mom, and I was going to be there.
And when we were done with the biscuits and the last crumb had been eaten, we didn't seal our reconnection with a hug or a snuggle on the couch.
Instead she wanted to check on the chickens.
Three year olds don't over-think things the way we do. They already know how to live in the moment. As far as Tegan was concerned, she had my full attention, and that was exactly as it should be. It was just her and mom, doing what we do.
We checked on the chickens, gathered the eggs, and rinsed out their water container. I was just about to turn off the hose when she stopped me. "Wait! Don't turn that off!"
So I didn't.
For the next hour and a half, I forgot the rest of the world, and focused on reconnecting with my daughter. We hosed the chicken poop off the patio (which, as strange as it sounds, is oddly cathartic), made it "rain", and talked and talked. It took at least three times as long as normal to get the patio clean, because for every spray the patio got, the girl got two. And with every squeal, every smile, and every burst of laughter, my world got just a little more right again.
Life shouldn't be about treading water, spinning your wheels, and going through the motions. It should be about the moments. The people. The connections.
It should be about bonding over biscuits and chicken poop.
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