I’m busy. Not busier than your average mama of three boys but busy, non the less. There are two school drop-offs. There is a still nursing babe who needs a lot of attention as all toddlers do. There are pick-ups, lunches to be made, clothes to be washed (oh, the dirty clothes), dishes, homework, soccer practice, dinner and on and on.
With all of this running around with my kids I often feel like we are together all. the. time. The reality, though, is that I may always be physically there but I am frequently not present.
Too often I find myself lost in my own head, worried about what “needs” to happen next and I miss what is happening right now.
Last night, as I lay sleeplessly in bed, my mind drifted to days long past. I vividly remember riding the school bus home with my mind full of the days happenings. Sometimes there was elation, sometimes despair (I was a drama-filled kid) but always plenty to think about.
I’ve seen this same, far-off look in my oldest son’s eyes. I’ve “seen” him processing his day from the back of our minivan. There are new people, new ideas (good and bad), interactions with peers and teachers, and all the life issues that a elementary school aged kid has to deal with.
When I see that look I want to know. I want to know what is going on in that head of his. I want to know who he talked to and what he learned in class. I want to know what is bothering him, what excites him and who makes him happy. I want to be there to answer his questions. I want him to know I am a safe place for him to talk about his feelings, ideas and worries.
To do this I need to STOP and listen. I need to quiet my mind and let my worries go so I can help him with his. All too soon he won’t want to talk to me. He’ll censor our conversations and want to talk-these-things out with friends and peers but this is my chance. This is my chance to gain his trust, be his safe place and show him that I’ll always be here.
My worries can wait but “babies don’t keep.”