Thursday, January 6, 2011

Bigger Picture Moment: Prelude

When my babies were little, I was jealous for their closeness.  I couldn’t let them away from me easily, even for a little bit; it seemed like torture.  I needed to be near them as badly as I needed a break, and the two halves of my yearnings wouldn’t match up.  Even now, my world still wobbles on its axis until my girls are back in my orbit again.  I want them backbackback soonsoonsoon.  The sooner, the better.

But that’s not to discount the other desire I’ve had as a mother: the desire to be alone.  To be quiet and still.  With the girls going to preschool a few mornings a week, I now have that time.  It’s sandwiched between rushing to get places on time and stressing about social growing pains, but it’s there: I sit still to write or read; I clean in peace and quiet; I exercise freely.

Even if it’s only for a few hours a week, I savor that time, all the while wondering what my girls are up to. And on this past Christmas break, I expected to miss that time. I expected to be frazzled from the complete re-immersion of being so constantly needed. Instead, I found myself reveling in it.

We were lazy. (SO lazy.) There was no rushing, nobody forgot their lunch bag, and nobody threw a fit when they weren’t allowed to wear a bathing suit for the day because, after all, we didn’t have anywhere to be. Bathing suits are allowed, there.

We made treats. We played and played and played.

And no, it wasn’t perfect; there were many arguments and frustrations and spilled drinks. There were many time-outs. (For mama as well…) But it was good. I wanted my girls, nonstop, and, in a startling flashback to babyhood, I didn’t want to let them go when school started back this week.

This realization comes as a little-bitty prelude to the rest of my life as a mother: I’m going to be forced to let them go more and more, and I’m going to want them back more and more. They’re going to pull away, and I’m going to savor the down-time, when I can have them to myself long enough to bury my face in their silky hair.

Oh, but did you catch the most important part of that prelude?

…savor the down-time….

Not so little-bitty in the end, really.

I hope you'll join us for Bigger Picture Moments this week!  We're sharing the Simple Moments that make up the Bigger Picture (more details here), and we'd love to read about yours, whether it's a sentence, a story, or a photo.  Enjoy the simple moments this week, friends!  


  1. I didn't want school to begin either. I didn't want the rush and the hub-bub. And although we didn't run around in swimsuits (UM JEALOUS, why didn't I think of that) We got our chill on.

    So here is to swim suits and down time with the girls. er, boys! :)

  2. I agree with Alita: Here's to down time!

    Since we're homeschooling, I have to be mindful about noticing opportunities for down time, for both the boys and Ben and I. I was thinking recently about how this phenomenon of parenting completely took me by surprise -- the not-wanting-to-let-go. I feel like it's the grand lesson I'll be learning as they get bigger and bigger and bigger.

  3. I feel the same way - blogged about it a bit, and... like you said, tried to savor moments. I am on that axis you describe as well - wanting to be with them always and not at all. I need to exercise - I need free time, but... I miss them when they are away. I suppose that is a good thing. Anyway, your post captured, perfectly, what I have been trying to put into words for a few weeks now.

  4. Oh, I totally agree. I did so not want them to go back to school this week. And the nicest part was, they did not want to go either. I love having time with them.


Hmm...And how did that make you FEEL?