Monday, May 10, 2010
The Time Giver- Day 4
This is fifth in a series of posts. If you haven't yet, you might want to go back and read from the beginning.
I am not good with numbers, but I am very good with estimations. I am good with knowing how long it will take me to get somewhere, the amount of time needed to get the family ready, and making allowances for all the little things that come up that take longer. Missing socks. Sudden need to use the bathroom. Dog running after a deer.
I know how long things will take.
I am good at estimations.
This does not mean I am ever on time.
It does mean that in the midst of it, I am acutely aware that I will be late.
So this is what I have been doing. Making estimations about how much time I can spend on this or that so that I can have those 15 minutes. Play longer with the baby. Show him how to throw the ball. Zoom the truck back and forth. Head to the gym, but don't shower. I will be stinky so I can have those 15 minutes with my boy. Nobody cares.
Can I tell you how much I have been missing? I mean, really missing. Jackie Boy was out riding his bike in the driveway. I went out just to watch him. The sad thing is that my boys spend a lot of time saying- Mom, watch this! Look at me.
When you have four, it is really hard to look all the time. It is hard to actually look when they tell you and pay attention because soon the voices grow so loud that I tune everyone out. It is survival. But, it does not make it right.
So, I watch him on his bike. Didn't take my eyes off of him. Suggested hills that he might try to go down.
There is a house near ours that shares a driveway and has been largely uninhabited since we moved here. I have wanted to hike up, be nosy. But, I haven't because I am a rule follower. I always have this feeling that the owner will suddenly drive up and spot me looking in the window. Jackie Boy and I climbed up the hill and I peeked in the window. Then he showed me where their hot tub is. He walked around like he owned the place.
Have you been up here before honey?
Yah! We threw our parachute guy off that ledge there.
You did? Who?
All of us.
Where was I?
In the house. Here, I'll show you.
He climbed off the neighbor's deck and said- Come on, mom!
The funny thing is that I have lived in this house for over five months now and I have never explored the land around us. I go to car and back and have been in the driveway. Apparently, that is not the case with my boys.
We were on the hillside below our house which leads down to the railroad tracks.
See mom, we threw the parachute guy right off this cliff.
He laid down on a large rock with a steep side and looked over.
You were all down here, without dad?
Yep. There is another cliff over here.
Honey, this isn't safe. You can't come down here without an adult.
See, the parachute guy. He is right there.
Jackie Boy. Do you hear me?
Yah! You can climb up around here to get to our house.
Yes, this is very cool.
During that time, he did not once say- Mom, look at me.
Yes,I have been missing something.
Toots is the third child and so he gets left out sometimes. Whereas the older boys got to take baths for many years, he had to begin taking showers like his brothers earlier. It became like an assembly line to get them ready for bed. In shower, out, dry off, brush teeth, into bed. When he does get a bath, it is always in a hurry. No time to just play. It is always about the business of getting clean. So, I asked him if he wanted to take a bath.
He said- With the baby?
No, he is already in bed.
Will you stay the whole time mom?
He asked this because he knows I sometimes sort laundry near the bathroom or put things away.
He took a Lavender Milk Bubble bath. I let him stay in until he asked to get out. Sadly, that is probably a first. We shut the glass doors and he splashed around, giggling and squealing. He made bubble beards and mustaches. He threw water in the air and tried to catch it in a cup. I watched him the whole time. I did not pick up the dirty clothes on the floor and take them to the hamper. I did not read the magazines stacked up near me in a basket. I did not make a list of what I needed to do tomorrow and I did not check my cell phone for texts. I watched my boy play in the bath.
I was sitting on the bed with Luke just before bedtime chatting when Hottie Husband came home from training early. He trains with the fire department some nights. HH and I talked to Luke, answered his questions about the myriad of things this child has questions about and we just enjoyed each others company. It was just me, him and his dad. HH told him to wait once, but he wasn't aware of my new 15 minute focused time.
Then, my head started to ache. I was trying to finish my recent blog post on our Maui vacation and it was after 11pm. HH still needed his 15 minutes. I didn't have much more to give. I was wiped out.
But, I sat on the couch next to him. He asked me questions about the photography session I was donating to a silent auction. I got irritated because he wasn't understanding what I was saying. He said- I just want to know what is going on in your head. You are on the computer. I don't know what you are thinking or doing.
So I shared what goes on in my head.
I shared my dreams with him.
I got outside my head and let him in.