Some days, much like today, I realize somewhere after noon that I have not actually done anything yet. I mean, I've gotten the boys off to school and fed us. I'm even dressed. But I've done nothing on a to-do list. I've only got a vague idea of what's for dinner. I've spent much of my time on the couch.
I enjoyed the first hour after the boys were off. I relaxed and snuggled my coffee while I caught up to Facebook and Twitter, (I'm not sure if you're following me or not... so go check and make sure you are, then come back and read on.) and then I checked stats on the blog. I read all my emails and cleaned out the inboxes. Turns out I'm not as far behind as I thought.
Then Angel Baby got up. She snuggled up beside me and though we have moved from the couch to the loveseat now, we've maintained this position for a good two hours. We've played. We've laughed at the silly mommy Barbie that was wearing the Daddy swimming shorts. "Silly Mommy. You're not a Daddy!"
We have listened to all our favorite songs on the phone. We had breakfast and she made sure her baby was full too.
I'm sitting here with a bunch of things I probably should do today on my mind. But I'll bet that I won't get much done today.
I've felt conflicted several times since I stopped working. I feel like I often have these wasted hours. Times that pass by so silently, peacefully. Times where I feel like I'm on a vacation with nothing to do but be with my daughter. I feel guilty. I'm at home and there are things to do. I should be able to get a lot more done in a day. But I don't get them done. My list of to-do's is pretty much the same length every day. I get some done, I'm not useless, but I feel like there is always more I should be doing.
I'm not sure how to explain this to the Trucker. Sometimes he gets it and sometimes he doesn't. Sometimes he's supportive and sometimes he's irritated.
There is a big secret here. One that few people have the opportunity to learn these days. Unfortunately, even I have not been blessed with this chance to be at home with one of my kids like this. I was home with the boys, but only because of Maternity leave and a new baby at the time.
This time I have now is beautiful. This time is irreplaceable. I could have easily missed it and I'd probably never know the beauty of it. Do you want to know my secret?
These lazy, useless mornings are the most productive times I have. I cherish the snuggles I might not have enjoyed. I talk with my baby girl like she's a friend, because she is. I play and make messes and she learns new things. I learn new things.
I'm getting this deep connection with my girl. She may drive me crazy some days when she is glued to my legs or climbing on my back, but at least I know I have given her the security of my presence. I am a constant in my childrens lives. They know what to expect from me and what I expect from them. Because I have been able to sit down and just BE with them.
Even now, as I'm typing this post, she is sitting beside me. I have a baby dolly, a blankie and a stuffed kitty on my lap. And a little girl who values my presence.
These hours this morning, that have floated by unnoticed, are not wasted. They are packed with love and lessons. She knows that when she speaks, I am listening. And I want to always be there to listen. I hope that my children always know that I will be here to listen. My boys still feel comfortable to tell me everything. And yes, even some things I really don't want to know.
These are best hours of each day. Definitely well spent. I don't think there is any wasted time when you have children. Even those frustrating fights with seatbelts or shoes, or the "Please, just sit down and eat your dinner, I don't want to stay at the table all night...." The time is not wasted. It's spent learning and loving. As for dinner time, I think the kids know this is family time. This is talking time. I suspect occasionally that at least one child is purposely eating slow, just to extend the time we are spending together talking.
I wish that every parent knew that some of the best moments, the best quality moments do not come from outings or big family dinners, but from the times we spend doing nothing, together.
What do you think? Have I made the right choice to do nothing? Do you do the same? The greatest gifts of parenthood, the sweetest words from my children come during those moments of nothing.