We would go to church and discuss the events of the week so I could plan which dinners to prepare and which nights we would go to the gym early and which nights late. I would take school work out on the back porch to read or do while I soaked up some sun before I had to come in and begin cooking for the week. Joey and I would hit the gym before 8pm and then I would come back and finish up my school work. While Taylor was in college, she would email her papers around 10pm so I could edit them, and I would juggle her papers or text messages and my email until midnight and Monday called too loudly.
I slept until after 8am this morning, made breakfast for Joey and I quickly so we could walk into church just in time for the message. We had lunch with Wade and discussed the week and then Joey and I shopped for the food we would need for the week. As I walked up an down the isles of Target, I kept running into a mom with her two year old son. On the third isle, he wanted to be held and began to cry. A real cry bellowed as I walked among the juices and then the paper goods; he kept sobbing the words, "I wan you. I wan you" (I want you) and I grabbed my heart. He cried and told his mama he wanted her for 8 minutes. I resisted the urge to walk up to her and say, "Pick him up. You don't know." Please don't think I am judging this young mom.. He was probably fine and didn't need to be held. I certainly held the line with my two babies. My heart just knew the cries of his as I have said so often, "But I want you..."
Taylor was 7 months old on a summer trip to Colorado. She was fussing in the back seat, and I remember saying "No baby girl. You must stay in your chair." She wanted out of her car seat. Joey said I was harsh- my first fun-sucker event!- and I retorted that if she were old enough to know what she wanted, she was old enough to know what she couldn't have. Oh- the lessons we help them learn.
Now, I have an retrospection I never asked for.
I did take advantage of today's hours and addressed more envelopes sending what I hope is love to those who have been a constant support to me and mine. I sat for three hours with a good friend and soaked up the August sun before hitting the gym with the love of my life. The hours passed slowly. What once would have been filled with discussions of work and future plans was instead filled with words about the needs of others and listening to her girl. Time has changed us, my friend and I.
As I cooked my husband's dinner, he embraced me from behind. I said, "It doesn't seem fair that we should have to start another school year without her." His head just sank into my shoulder as he let out the air from his burly chest. Taking one day at a time is a good thing; sometimes, you realize though that in taking one day at a time you are hit head on by a life sentence. We made it through a whole year - just to do it again. Time holds no promises.
Wade walked into the house just then, and we finished the details of dinner and fed our boy. The boy trimmed the yard because we are still parents, and he still has responsibilities to learn. We watched re-runs of M.A.S.H. and traded insults - our own love language - what Taylor and Wade call the fun in dysfunction. There are more emails to answer, more work to be done and a kitchen to be cleaned - but the two eighth graders in my living room (my 17 year old son who is really a junior and my husband) would like my time. And so here I sit enjoying time.
Time, valuable and temporary, means taking advantage of those opportunities we have - relishing in the moment our children say "I want you" even when they are 14, or 15, or 17 and pushing us away.
All the books said I shouldn't rock my babies to sleep, but I did anyway - every night. It is time that I treasure now.