My day has a way of getting away from me. For the first 90 minutes that I’m up, I’m in complete control. I walk, read the paper, pray, drink coffee. It’s quiet, still, and orderly. As soon as the first pair of small feet come down the stairs, everything goes out the window.
I’m more flexible in our schedule than I used to be. I don’t have rigid timetables, just daily task lists. We finish breakfast around 8:30am and start our schoolwork. Of course, if they’re playing nicely, creatively, and quietly, I let things slide.
One of the more challenging parts of having four children is spending one-on-one time with each of them. The day is mostly playing, work, or activity in groups of two, three, or four. Each of my kids has a distinct personality when they’re in a group setting. It’s when I get them alone that things get interesting. They don’t have to compete for my attention, they have it.
When I take Benedict to our monthly father/son activity, he says the most insightful things in the car ride. It reminds me of just how grown up he really is. Felicity is very bubbly, but she’s especially sweet and cheerful when we’re alone together. Lucy can be crabby, but she loves snuggling close to me. Veronica, of course, is happy all the time. But there’s a particular delight when she has you alone.
The busyness of the waking hours keeps us all moving. While I have a lot to do, maybe I need to add “Do Nothing” to my list. Permission to stop, pull one of my kids aside, and do nothing with them for a few minutes.
I know that these days are racing by, and as my children grow and mature, our relationship won’t always be this easy. The window of opportunity is open, I need to jump through it and do nothing.