Making 30 minutes last forever
When I think of what I don't have in life, sure, there are some wish-list items that stand out. Say, a second bathroom. A washer-dryer that I don't share with 35 neighbors. A parking garage that is actually in our own neighborhood, let alone our own block.
(Oh the joys of city living!)
Mostly I don't spend a lot of time thinking about what I have less of and I feel, especially this time of year, grateful for what I do have.
But the one thing I really truly find I scrape by on, is time.
Working parents simply don't have the luxury (or challenge?) of countless free hours with the family. We skip pediatrician appointments in favor of parent-teacher conferences instead. We give up school pick-ups. If we make it home in time to catch the kids slurping down the last of the mac n cheese, it's a win of epic proportions.
So the one thing I value--really value--is my time with them. Especially those dark, sweet nighttime moments during which I crouch down next to the girls' beds, stroke their hair, pull the quilts up to their chins, and together we catch up on the day.
Generally we read. Sometimes I make up stories. But always, we talk.
About their days. About my day. About who was nice in school and which friend they played with and what they learned and how many goals they scored. "Mommy, can we do questions?" they ask. And so I begin.
What was one thing that made you smile today? What was one thing that made you laugh today? What one person did something nice for you today? What is one thing you learned today that you didn't know yesterday?
And then, as the tradition goes, I always end with, What do you want to dream about tonight?
Without fail, Thalia requests something with princesses and purple unicorns named Kelsey and magic butterflies and rainbows. Sage is more interested in princes with swords and friendly monsters named Pukebok who play tricks on people.
And then I kiss their foreheads, tell them I love them so so much (two so's are so so important), and send them to sleep.
Once in a while, if the stars align, they do actually sleep at that point.
The thing is, when you have less time, you have no choice but to do the most with it that you can. My hope is not that my kids will remember how many after-school hours I missed, but how many butterfly kisses I gave. How many princess rescues I described. How many questions I let them answer. How many rainbow dreams I helped bring to life. How many chapters I read doing the silly voices.
How many times I said I love you, so so much.
THE CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED. Congrats to Fer of My Whole Life... who's the winner! I'm so glad it's someone who really really wanted it. Thanks so much for sharing your stories with me. I learned lots of great ideas myself for dong more when you have less time.
The giveaway was brought to you by th enew Windows Phone 7. Less MIA, More PTA. (Which I think means that moms all are in the PTA? Or something? No idea.) Learn about Windows Phone online and see it in person at a local T-Mobile store.