All those hours of experience in the classroom, commuting while listening to NPR, collaborating with colleagues, and growing in my identity as the “bread winner” of our family can’t really compare to these days. I am grateful for those days, but no one told me it would get better.
With this chatty-chatty three year-old insisting on making her own sandwich. I find myself looking at the clock, aware of the classroom routines I would instead be doing. Lunch would have happened and math would be starting. But instead I get to be here…at my kitchen table, sitting across from my baby who is suddenly a kid. Before I am able to get too sentimental, I show back up in the present moment. Where she is now entertaining me with skills she has learned from her father. “Look momma, I can catch this in my mouth like a seal.” In her words I hear the many adventures to the aquarium with her father absent of sadness and filled with pride. Just like it should be.
I am in transition and sincerely less tearful than I thought I would be. Maybe I am the only one surprised. I am walking around a little in disbelief and very happy. Dumb happy. Where I smile at strangers (if you know me, you know I don’t smile a lot) and strike up small talk (another out of character trait). So yes, this has a name that socially we all agree is called the “honeymoon” phase. But that is fine. Because like being a newlywed, it’s a giddy delight that feels goofy and beautiful all at the same time.
It truly is a testament to God’s sovereignty and promises. I feel like I couldn’t have developed a better plan for my career, marriage, or life if I had sat down with pen and paper given free range of resources and time. I feel blessed to have the gift of time to pour back into my kids. And yes, for this working mother taking my kids to school feel like a privilege. I know it won’t always feel this good. If I could bottle it up and save it for those future moments of frustration and impatience to release into the atmosphere I would. That is the anxiety talking.
So what do I do? Keep my camera nearby to snap our very ordinary moments from this week and say prayers over them. Thank you God, for a daughter who makes doing the laundry a game. She giggles as she drops the coins in the slots and watches the clothes spin in the dryer. Teaching me by example that perspective is everything.
When it’s finally done drying she divides up tasks like a drill sergeant. She wants me to fold and she will “hunt for the treasure trash” (aka dryer sheet) and then hold them close to her nose describing “smells so good I could eat this.”
The time passes quickly but not before giving thanks. This season that I know can’t last forever feels priceless. I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.