Thursday, January 8, 2015

Being Present

Happy New Year! I know that I still have so much to document over the past year and I am missing jotting down the milestones for my kiddos.  So much good in their lives has happened and continues to happen.  I will continue to try to keep up with them and their accomplishments and challenges.

Two days ago the three big kids had an unexpected snow day.  After posting on my Facebook Wall about how I love me some snow days a former coworker asked if I had gone back to teaching.  The answer is no. I haven't gone back to teaching. Every now and I again when I see something cool happening in my kids' classrooms I feel that pull to go back into the classroom, but it's still not strong enough to pull me away from my everyday life of being the mother of four.  I am still enjoying my time home with the kids. With my self-diagnosed ADD (Aren't we all just a little ADD?), I'm surprised that I haven't grown bored with being home. But I haven't.  I am thoroughly enjoying this season in my life.  My reply to my friend was, "No, I'm not back in the classroom, but find that these snow days are a gift of time with my favorite people." And that's the truth. Yes, we just finished having the kids home for 2 weeks for winter break.  But it wasn't enough.  As try as we might to have lazy days, things get planned, friends are visited, parties are attended, Christmas and the birth of our Savior are celebrated.  There is more downtime than usual, but we remain busy.  But a snow day! Now that's something different. Our court is usually the last to get plowed and the roads are usually too messy to go anywhere. So the family hunkers down, reads books, play with legos, drinks hot chocolate, goes out in snow gear to play with the other neighborhood children, and bake cookies.  We have no where we HAVE to be and no plans that NEED to be done.  It is awesome and a true gift of time.

It sounds a little silly that I am grateful for this gift of time. I mean, I stay home full-time, don't I see and spend time with my kids all the time. I mean, isn't my job to be home, available, and present?  Well, yes. But too often I am called by the dirty dishes in the sink, dirty clothes that need to be washed, and toys and various items that need to be put away.  So while I am available and most of often in the same room with my children, I am not always present.  I am busy. With stuff. Like chores.

So even though it's been on my New Year's Resolution list for the last two years, I am adding it again. I want to be present.  And on this snow day, this gift of time, I was present.  I helped Buggy put together her life cycle project.  I printed the pictures she needed and helped her type her captions.  But she put together her project.  I found myself trying to neaten it up and make it clean and straight and I stopped. I put it down. This was her project. Not mine. While she needed my help to obtain the information. This was her project to put together.  When I was done with her project, I was able to work on a Lego set with Mr. Bananas.  Which actually meant I put it together and he said, "Thank you, Mommy."  But we spent time together looking for the pieces and talking.  Boogie and I discussed the newest series he is reading.  The baby and I made faces at each other and I sang to her and nursed her.  I helped the big kids gear up to go out in the snow and then made them quesadillas and hot cocoa for lunch.  They had a friend come over to play.  I had planned to bake cookies, but that didn't happen.  What did happen was time spent together. When my husband came home he looked around the house and said with a smile,  "It looks like you had four children home all day."  I replied, "Actually it was five and I was present."  So the dishes are strewn around the kitchen, the legos are in various parts of the family room, we have just enough clean clothes to get through a day at a time, and there are toys that were taken out and forgotten. But what I have is a sense of peace. Peace that it was a day well spent. A day that for which I am grateful for a little extra time with my favorite people.  It was a day free from meltdowns (mine or the kids).  The house is still showing a little wear and tear from that snow day.  Yesterday was a two hour delay and instead of picking up the house I joined a friend for lunch.  Today the three year old is off from school and we ran errands instead.  Tomorrow is another day.  The 3 big kids will be in school and I will have a little extra time when the baby naps. Or maybe I will take a nap with her and be present.

Happy New Year.

My girls

My big boy reading

Silly selfie we sent to daddy during our snow day

Daddy finding time to be present with his baby girl after a ridiculously long day at work.

Another silly selfie with the two kids who aren't in school.

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