My youngest child, Clayton, loves our nap time ritual. After reading a pile of books, I wrap him in a blanket, sing to him, put him in his crib, and give him a kiss. He loves it! And so do I.
But on days when my to-do list is long, it sure can take up time.
On those days, if I am feeling even slightly rushed during this special time, he picks up on it and will not take his nap until I come and really show him love. He doesn’t want to feel like an item on a checklist.
Today was one of those days. I was unwittingly rushed and distracted during our special routine. I was hoping to make an important phone call by a certain time, and I was trying to hurry.
Oh, we still read books; I wrapped him up, sang to him, and kissed him; but my heart wasn’t in it, and Clayton sensed that. Within five minutes of putting him down, he was calling, “Mom!” over and over again. He wanted to feel loved. But by then, I was on the phone with the bank regarding the sale of our house. I didn’t come.
I thought he would give up and go to sleep, but he did not. A few minutes later, he called to me again. By then I was fixing lunch for my daughter who had just been dropped off by our preschool carpool.
“He’ll fall asleep eventually,” I reasoned. All was quiet for a few minutes. I started to clean the kitchen and make another phone call. Then I heard him call out to me again.
At that moment a thought hit me powerfully: I am not at home right now for the dishes, or for these “important” calls, or for the laundry, or for the dirty bathrooms I was hoping to clean. I am here for him.
I decided I would not allow that moment to belong to the dishes or to the phone anymore. That moment, and the next several moments, were going to be his moments. I ended the phone call, left the dishwasher open, and went to my boy.
I picked him up and wrapped him in a warm blanket. I rocked him back and forth and sang him songs. He smiled every time we looked at each other. “Do you want another song?” I would ask as I finished each song. “Uh-huh,” he would reply. I sang and sang.
Finally, he closed his eyes and relaxed his body. Asleep at last. But instead of being rushed this time, I held him close, wishing I could take a picture of him peacefully asleep in my arms.
When I finally put him down, I took this picture.
And instead of getting back to my to-do list, I decided to write this down first. Because rocking and singing to my son is the most important thing I accomplished today.
QUESTION: What is the most important thing you accomplished today? What can you do right now to show your children you love them?
CHALLENGE: Put your children at the top of your to-do list. Each day, congratulate yourself on what you accomplished in loving and caring for them.
Featured Image by FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image of sleeping child provided by Tiffany Hancock
Judie Wilcox says
What a gorgeous photo! Your article was a very timely reminder to me to be in the moment when I’m doing things with the kids rather than mentally preparing 100 other things.
Thanks for inspiring me to focus more on truly being present with my children and not constantly be thinking about having to “get things done”! Great article!
“I am not at home right now for the dishes, or for these “important” calls, or for the laundry, or for the dirty bathrooms I was hoping to clean. I am here for him.” What a profound and powerful thought. Thank you for sharing your wisdom.
I know this post is almost a year old, but I have to let you know, Tiffany, that this is magnificently beautiful! You have inspired a new way of thinking for me. Thank you!