I’m staring over this screen and into a half-full cup of coffee, wondering if I’ll actually finish either a blog post or the java before a clamoring call to arms begins. Wait. Who am I kidding? Actually, the morning fire drill began before I even poured the first cup.
Truth? I wouldn’t have it any other way. Something happened to me over my 4 week sabbatical from children this summer: I actually began to want to enjoy my kids. That may seem a little strange to say or even for one to admit. You kind of get thrust into the parenting thing, you know? Every stage of infancy and childhood is so unique. I think it’s easy to focus on the deliverables that necessitate being a parent. Feed them, cloth them, train them. Teach them some social skills so they know how to engage people quite mannerly. Make sure they know a few cute tricks to entertain friends during chance meetings in the super market and more complex ones when invited to the neighbor’s BBQ. Yes, focus on all the things that will prevent you from actually ruining your kid or emotionally wounding them early on. Give enough hugs, but don’t baby them. Focus on them, but don’t fixate. DO NOT MESS UP THIS CAREFULLY ORCHESTRATED RECIPE FOR WELL-BEING.
And in all whipping up, I forgot that perhaps the most important thing I could hope for, pray for even, was the addition of a secret ingredient….desire.
A desire to enjoy my kids.
Like the garden, or my husband on a spontaneous date night (when he tells me my dress looks like Lola, a swanky cantina in the Highlands, and sweeps me away for table side guacamole), or text marathon with my friends. Could I actually ask God to give me a renewed want to for this thing called parenting? Not because I’m the only mother they’ll ever have. Not because I’m obligated. Not because it’s what good parents do.
Love them because I want to. Be with them because it’s fun.
Interestingly enough, my joy has returned over unusual things, like drilling sight word flash cards, getting creamed in Candyland, selecting purple eyeglasses, swimming with a duck at the pool, employing two small tomato pickers in a backyard garden, shooting a rocket in the front yard, and learning new songs,
As find myself anticipating their stories and waiting for them to get home., I realize that they are inherently nurturing me and watching over me far more than I’ve known. How is this possible? Surely at 5 & 6 they have no concept of designated roles and responsibilities. No, their love is expressed through hearts wide open and they too, have learned the simplicity of enjoyment.