thoughts on daily life within our family of SIX....each child in her own phase of childhood....

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Family That Plays Together.....

I am a busy mom. I hate to say that and hate to feel that because when I am busy (which is a lot of the time), I often find myself not being able to stay present in the moment. I find myself looking at my watch--or at least thinking, "Okay, I have this many more minutes to read this story" or --what's worse--not sitting down to read the story or take the little one outside to cut the grass or walk the dog. How many times have I said, "We'll do it when you get up from your nap," or "After I load the dishwasher...., " or just, "Later...."?

Which one of my children, when getting to spend some fun time with Mama will mess it up through sassy talk or direct disobedience? (Okay, sometimes...but rarely.) Lately, I must say, discipline has been much more difficult with all three of my kiddos. By difficult I mean that I feel like I am walking through drying cement. Even the little one, who is usually pretty easy, has been directly defying me time after time. What is it?

I'm sure that there are several factors at play (no pun intended), but I cannot get away from the fact that there has been too much work and not enough play in our family. Too many "have-to's" and not enough time to laugh or just sit or read bedtime stories about Frances the Badger or bend down and look at the grass and leaves. Not enough time to collect acorns and leave them on the stepping stone for our squirrel and not enough time to have each of my children help me cook dinner and talk about when I was a little girl instead of rushing them through their "have to's" of setting the table and clearing it after we eat.

Today there were dishes in the sink, and there was laundry to be folded. But my boy and I stopped and played ball in the foyer. Over and over we threw the ball and giggled when we didn't catch it--or when we did. Over and over, my boy said , "Mommy,--you--are--playing--wif--me! Mommy,--you--are--playing--wif--me!"

Saturday, November 10, 2007

My Kids Are Away, Let's Go Out To Play?

My kiddos are all with their grandparents for a long weekend. It's an exciting time to spend with my husband, but there is a little tingle in the bottom of my heart. I spend every day with my good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer. You'd think that for three or four days, I would be doing the Mommy Boogie all up and down the street just because I could. You'd think that we'd be dancing 'til dawn without a care in the world. You'd think, wouldn't you?

When I was a teacher and Christmas vacation rolled around, I would come home and honestly not think about what my students were doing until time to go back to school. There was no tingle in my heart, no nostalgia about the last things that they said to me, no holding their favorite things to my cheek. To me, they got on the school bus that led them away from school and ceased to be for the next two weeks. I was a good teacher, but I was their teacher.

Now I am a mom. MOM. That is who I am now, and no matter what else I ever do in my life (and I do hope that I still have things to contribute to life on our planet), there will be no greater title than those of Mom and wife. And so while my kiddos are away, of course I wonder what they are doing and who they are with at the moment and if they miss their mama. I've even been known to cuddle a teddy bear or deeply sniff their a sweater or two... It thrills my heart when my oldest calls several times a day just to say, "Hi. Whatcha' doin'?"