Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Time Giver

I give. But with boundaries. I play. But with limits. I love. But I am not always present.

Time is something I hunger for. It is the thing most elusive to me. If I just had the time back from the dishes and the grocery shopping and the laundry, I could work on my dreams. I could aspire. I could be what I imagined.

I have spent years looking at the clock. Counting the minutes. Until. A moment. Alone.

Don't get me wrong. I smile. I laugh. I cook. I clean. I play. I am silly. I listen. I talk. But, in the hidden places in my mind, I am waiting. I am waiting for time. Alone.

This is not a sorry. This is not even a confession. It just is.

I have a husband, a man, who knows me to the core. He is in love with me anyway. I am certain of it. He stops me in the kitchen for kisses. He grabs me an hugs me when I walk by. He tells me how beautiful I am to him. And sometimes I respond. But, a lot of the time I am in a hurry. I push past him. To put the load in the wash, to pick up the penny that the baby will surely choke on, to get out the door on time.

I have four wild and unique boys. At moments, I glimpse who they will be as men, and I feel honored to be in their presence. But, they are normal boys. They get rough, they argue, the vie to be top dog. There is bickering.

I like to think I spend time with them. After all, I feed them, help them with homework, drive them to school and baseball and piano. I bathe and diaper and feed and talk to the little one. We sing songs together in the car, I laugh at their silliness, I play guitar hero.

But, I cannot tell you the last time that I spent 15 minutes alone with one of them. It doesn't happen. I have four. I read to them as a group. We play baseball as a family. We watch American Idol together. We pray together. We eat dinner together.

When I address them as a group- Boys, its time to get ready for bed! Boys, did you finish your homework? Boys, wash your hands, get in the car, stop fighting! - for days on end and spend no time one on one, am I missing something?

I think I am. I think I am missing time. That elusive thing that I can't ever get enough of in my day. It is also the thing I can't get back. I can't get back the kisses in the kitchen with my husband when I was 37 and we had four little boys still underfoot. I can't get back playing ball with a one year old who giggles each time he rolls it back to me. I can't get back laying in bed with my nine year old, reading his Bible aloud to him. I can't get back playing catch with my five year old in the front yard. I can't get back the whispers of my ten year old about the girl he likes in school.

I don't want to hurry over these moments. I don't want them to just be squeezed carelessly between everything else.

Fifteen minutes alone. What would that do for them? Would it heal hurts I don't know exist? Would they know more deeply who they are and their importance to me? Would there be less rivalry?

I don't know. But, I want to. Fifteen minutes? Even now, the thought of attempting to spend 15 minutes of one on one time with each of them daily seems impossible. How could it happen? That is a whole hour out of the day. And where will the others be when I am with the one? There is already not enough time in our day.

But, I wonder. What would it do?

And you know what? I have a husband who deserves time with me really being present too.  Will the house fall apart? Maybe. But probably not.

Being a TIme Giver. Someone who is present. Not thinking of what I need to get done. Not wishing I was alone. Really present. At least fifteen minutes each. No timer set. No bell that rings.

A Time Giver- tomorrow!


Gina said...

It is so hard... but any moment spent together as a family or simply 3 minutes alone is precious. We are so lucky to be loved and have ones that want time with us even if there is never enough. More one on one time will come... your just in the votex of parenting right now.. the ages are hard and so crazy, but nothing i'd had ever given up! Blessed and loved are you! :)

Brigetta's Mom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brigetta's Mom said...

Oh you are so special...there are soooooooooo many kids out in this big world that wish their mom was present in their lives even for a split second! The boys are a gift on loan to you from GOD, and you are the Greatest Gift they could ever have...every moment in there presence is time you have given each one of them. Don't count the minutes, count the moments:-) I know you do!

Farmgirl Paints said...

You sound like such a good momma Brigetta. It's hard...this stage of life we are in. I don't get to spend individual time with my girls much either. I know that 15 whole minutes would be a HUGE gift to them. Maybe I should try it too. I love your heart!

I posted on our road to Hana experience. If you get time check it out.


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takemetomaui said...

You have eloquently and poigniantly spoken the desires of my heart. Wow. Thank you for this. I know spending this quality, alone time with my kids is truly important, but like you I have always felt defeated by the clock and the to-do list. I will pray that we BOTH will have and make the time to do this, everyday. We won't get these years back.

jackie said...

I can relate to this. I only have one son, but there is not enough time in the day. I work full time, I come home and want to spend time with him, but then I have to cook, clean, and relax.

My husband also stops me for kisses and hugs, and I always push him away in a rush. Then I come back to him and apologize because I know I'm wrong and should give him the time he deserves. I should give both of them and myself the time we all deserve.