And I got to be one today, unexpectedly, and it was awesome. Because it was not calendared as a day off with my kids, I didn't have any "plans". No doctors or dentist or physical therapy appointments squeezed in, no grocery shopping or big chores to tackle. Just step in and have the role of taking care of my children. It's sad to admit how often I don't get to do that. I spend a lot of time with them. My working from home days, the weekends, vacation days, all the aforementioned appointments, I wake up with them, and go to sleep with them, I volunteer at school, and take them each on as many special outings as I can possibly squeeze in. It's not exactly time that I'm missing, even though there is a fair amount of time I am at work. It's something else.
It was Lily's last day of first grade. So first we took obligatory pictures. Addie and Bryson even walked her to the bus with me since it was the last time this year. Lily asked Addie to go, Bryson will always jump at the chance, but Addie usually rather hang back in the warm house with no shoes on and watch from the window. To my surprise, she humored her sister and came along. Addie has the best hair in the morning.
|Lily - last day of 1st grade - 4 baby teeth replace by bigs, a shoe size larger, and 3 inches taller|
|Lily's last day of first grade|
|Lily Addie Bryson (note to self- he'll sit if you don't put shoes on him when the ground is cold), Lily's last day of first grade.|
|Lily first day of first grade|
|Lily Addie Bryson - Lily first day of first grade|
|Lily's first day of first grade|
|Lily with Mrs M on the last day of First Grade - We LOVE you Mrs. M!!|
Today was a blessing, a wonderful amazing blessing. Not because they didn't fight, and tattle, and make messes, and throw tantrums and get time outs. Not because I never lost my patience repeatedly telling them to stay in or out of the hard to push car shaped shopping cart, not to climb in and out over and over and teach your little brother to do the same. Not because I got a moment of time to myself. Not because I didn't try to accomplish some organizing and other general cleaning, as they messed it up faster than I could beautify it. Not because I'm not dead tired right now. All of those things happened. I don't pretend to think this life is easy or restful. But I got to be there for it in a very relaxed, I have nothing else I need to be doing, this is my only job sort of way. I never get that. Not on vacation, not on the weekends. This is not my only job. It's hard to admit, because I'm afraid that mothers who read this and stay at home as their job, might pity me, or pity my kids, or think I'm less of a mother. Maybe it's saying out loud that sometimes I think I'm less of a mother. Especially today, when I see all the little things I miss. While I'm living on the scraps of motherhood.
And the truth is, if they did, oh well. I know I'm where I have to be right now. I know that Lawrence and I have made the choice for our family that works. We work together to make this work in a way that works for us. We have an amazing young woman who fills in the gaps and takes care of our kids with incredible love and intention. Maybe someday things will change, maybe they won't. I pray that if it is God's will for me to have a different role in this family, that He will open doors for us to make that happen. But as things stand right now, I am grateful, we are grateful. Grateful for my late mornings and Lawrence's early ones, giving way to his early afternoons, which allows for home cooked meals and coaching opportunities and early bedtimes and lots of rest. Grateful to have a daddy for my children that takes on his three blessings without wincing at how much work it will be. Grateful for my work from home days that allow for even later mornings and volunteering in the class room during a lunch hour here and there and no commute time and putting kids down for naps and having lunch together.
But a day like today leaves me aching for another full day with them, and another. It's like I said, I get to see what I am missing. And, even full of gratitude, when I'm completely honest with myself I do miss it. I know staying at home with small children is not easy, but I hope that all the mamas who are living that life, enjoy the days that are given to them. Because if I got to redo any day over and over again, it would be one like today.
Today was a bittersweet day. I can't believe some mothers get to wake up and be this kind of mother every day. I hope they are able to see that amazing blessing for themselves. Every day. Even though I don't get to do today again tomorrow. I did it well, today, and it gives me refocusing perspective that I needed after a season of hard. I have a lifetime of good ahead of me.