I accomplished nothing today. I didn’t plan to do nothing, it just happened. I actually had a long list of housework duties to catch up on.
1. Gym – workout
2. Fold several loads of laundry
4. Wash dishes
3. Do several more loads of laundry
5. Sweep kitchen
6. Wash and fold more laundry
The list goes on and I had high hopes to get it all done. What I didn’t take into account were my four children. They all needed me. It wasn’t to help clean their rooms or finding play clothes, tying shoes, or finding a favorite toy. Today they just needed me, my time. They needed me to hug them, talk to them.
We looked at family pictures and I told them funny stories about them when they were babies. We read books together. Everywhere I went my two-year-old daughter toddled behind me, desiring just to be held.
So I gave up my plans to clean the house today. Instead I watched movies and read books with my children. I cuddled my sons and daughter. I sat down and ate dinner with them and laughed at their jokes and stories. And after I got them into bed I didn’t feel the relief I usually feel. Instead, I felt wonderfully happy because I spent time showing my children love by being with them.
Often I have looked at my two older boys and my heart aches to hold them as babies and kiss their sweet faces good night. I realize how fleeting time really is and the moments I have with them now will soon be a memory. I want to grab my children and hold onto them tightly because I know there will come a day when they will leave. Not too long ago I resented staying home. I felt like I was missing out on the fun and excitement of life. Sometimes I wished for a job outside the home just so I could get dressed up and accomplish something for that day. I longed for the days of homework from school because I knew that it wouldn’t mysteriously undo itself in the middle of the night like my housework always seems to do. But now I am seeing things in a different light. What is really important here?
The laundry will always be here. I might even catch up on it someday. The dishes will get done tomorrow, the same for sweeping the floor. But my babies won’t be babies very long. There will come a day when I will walk into my daughter’s room and I won’t be able to soothe her fears by rocking her and singing a song. Another day will come when I will enter my oldest son’s room only to see him packed and ready for college. Someday my little Trevor will be a groom waiting for his bride instead of the dimpled cheek boy with big green eyes I see every morning. Someday I may see my strong son, Garrett, in uniform and saluting his commander as he graduates from boot camp. Someday my house will be clean… and empty.
I know when those days come I won’t look back on good memories of how tidy and organized my house was. Instead, I will think of my children’s laughter when their daddy tickled them, early mornings when a little body would snuggle up next to me, and quiet moments rocking my daughter and singing her Cinderella songs. I will have these memories tucked away in my heart and I’ll just smile, even laugh a little, and be thankful for the sweet time I had my children all to myself.