I woke up this morning knowing that today had to be different. I know- we’ve all had those moments of regret. But this one seems a little crazy when I reflect on my response… Hang with me….
It was the first day with no school and the weather had forgotten summer was here. Chilly and rainy, we stayed inside most of the day and as a work-at-home mom, I took the opportunity to catch up from the busyness of the last week of school, celebrating my husband’s birthday on Friday and my nephew’s graduation party out-of-town day before yesterday after church. All that while making it a point to enjoy our first trip this summer to the community pool and making 160 rice krispie treats for the party, well, needless to say, yesterday I had to pause and catch up on work, both ministry and housework.
We held a morning family meeting and adapted chore lists for the summer. Each child also made a daily checklist so that they know their responsibilities without my
nagging gentle reminding. I was pleased with the results and actually knocked out the entire to-do list that I wrote while traveling on Sunday. It was a good feeling.
The evening arrived quickly and in spite of the stinky weather, my 9 year old’s baseball game was still a go. To avoid the possibility of the entire family getting rained out, my husband and I decided that I would take Samuel to the game and he would man the fort at home, feeding everyone dinner and making sure the kitchen was clean afterwards. So I began to rush around, preparing to leave, fearing we would be late due to the time of evening and traffic.
As I flurried around the kitchen for a few moments, I gave some quick reminders and goodbyes.
Then it happened.
My sweet baby, the 4 year old, ran towards me with her lips together, wanting a goodbye kiss.
And now this is the part that hurts my heart.
Foolishly, I said, “Mommy loves you, girlie. But I’ve got to go. Now is not the time for a kiss.”
I can hardly believe I said it and just typing it to you now is killing me. My parenting mistake is admitted; it’s out here. And it’s huge.
I never want to be too busy, too rushed, so last minute that I can’t kiss my sweet baby before we go out the door. Yes, me- the mom who has a terminally ill child, the one with 7 blessings, the one who should know better than to speak such foolishness, said those very words.
I can’t take them back; though I wish I could.
But today is a new day. And while we have another to-do list, and new challenges to face, I’ve learned a lesson from the huge mistake I made yesterday.
Today I will slow down and give fewer orders and more hugs.
I will offer less instruction and more love.
I will give and receive kisses freely and never miss an opportunity to enjoy them.
Because she won’t always rush towards me, eager to give Mama a last-minute goodbye kiss.
And her lips won’t remain little much longer.
Pardon me if my posts get a little sporadic over the summer. I’m still learning this balancing act called parenting. I’m sharing my mistake in hopes that maybe it will prevent you from making it too.
Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, don’t be too busy to show someone your love today.