This is the fourth in a series of posts. If you have a moment and haven't read the first three, you might want to go back and check them out.
I used to wear a watch. Even when I slept. This was mostly because I was nursing and liked my babies on a schedule. I am a schedule girl. I like to map out my day, figure out what can be done when.
I had to give up my watch a few years ago. It was running my life. I have stopped checking my wrist every few minutes, but now I just reach for my cell phone. It is helpful that I am not one of those people who can keep my cell phone on me at all times. I leave it in coats. The car. The diaper bag. There is a lot of mindless placement of that thing.
I can thankfully say that I am no longer a slave to my watch. But, the clock in general, well that is another story.
So, this goal I have given myself is a bit of a challenge. I struggled today with the giving. I wanted to be selfish, let the kids watch a movie, get on my computer and check blogs and Facebook and email. Connect to the adults in my world.
But, instead I chose to give. I let go of self and a sweet thing happened. Mister Luke said- Mom, how is that story you are writing going? Can you read it to me?
He is my biggest fan, the one who pushes me to keep writing. He can already see my book on the shelf. Unlike me, who sees the idea like a mountain too difficult to climb, fraught with the lack of an agent and publishing companies buried in submissions. But, here was a reader, eager to hear the story I was writing about a boy his age.
I read it to him. He suggested word changes to make it sound more like a ten year old boy. I listened. He is the expert on being a ten year old boy. What do I know as a 37 year old woman other than what I have learned from him? He suggested a future plot line. So much better than anything an adult could have given me on Facebook.
Then, Mister Luke said- Jack, you have to hear mom's story. She should read it to you.
So, I sat with Jackie Boy and again read my story aloud. He was confused, thinking the story was completely written. Where was the rest? It's coming. And he had suggestions too, ideas to make it a little funnier. Such a good thing to let them in on the process.
Earlier, I had spent time with Little Bear. Trying to teach him to go backwards down the stairs. He was angry at my insistence that he go backward, not understanding why he could not crawl forward like he always does. I tried to let him fall a bit so he might grasp the danger.
No. Bright red screaming face staring at me as I said- Turn around, turn around, turn around. I am not sure yet in my new philosophy of time giving if this counts as present, focused time. Does the person have to enjoy it or does teaching something count?
Today, it was almost like Hottie Husband knew that I was being purposeful about this. Like he knew I would say yes. I came home with groceries in hand, with ten minutes to put them away before it was time to take Little Bear to his one year doctor's appointment. I was in a rush, fitfully trying to get every item out of the bags so I wouldn't leave anything out to spoil. This man came up behind me in the kitchen, embraced me and well...
Just so you know, I would normally have said - Not right now. I have to go.
But, I didn't. I like to be on time for doctor's appointments. I was seven minutes late. And you know what? Nobody at that doctor's office said a word.
Even though it wasn't actually a full fifteen minutes, I am gonna say that it counts. That was some big giving for me.
It was bedtime and I still had not gotten any time with Toots. He was tired and had been a bit whiny and pestering all day. I wanted to be done with him. But, instead after tucking the other boys in, I took him to my room. We cuddled under the down comforter, Destructo Dog at our feet, and read Froggy Plays T-Ball and Frog and Toad. I let him ask all the questions he wanted. I let him interrupt. I took my time. I didn't rush.
I didn't look at the clock.