Sitting with my kids

In a recent post I addressed my desire to renew showing up for myself. You wouldn’t know it, since I’ve not posted much since then, however I’ve been busy doing just what I set out to do. And it’s manifested in many different ways – baking, cleaning (which doesn’t at first seem to be for me but there are those days when nothing feels quite so good as sucking mud up the vacuum or scrubbing the sink till my fingers hurt), painting, cutting, drawing, scribbling, gluing, and sometimes sitting still doing nothing at all.

And sometimes showing up for myself means showing up for my kids. Last night and again this morning Isabella asked me to sit with her while she followed an instructional video online. For Christmas we gave her a Rainbow Loom and the child’s right arm is almost completely covered in rubber band bracelets. She’s mastered the basic one and has been wanting a new pattern for days. Last night I made time to sit down with her.  She picked out a tutorial from their website and got started before bed and the idea of moving forward with it got her up and quickly through the normally painful morning routine.

My job? Pausing and restarting the tutorial video.

I’ll admit I occasionally left her side to do other things but she always called me back. And this got me thinkin’ … my kids are at a stage in their lives where they physically need me less and less. Their motor skills are greatly developed and in most cases are probably better than mine. They can fix themselves food, shower without assistance, and they both read crazy fast on their own. And yet, despite all of this, they still want me close. Isabella wants me sitting with her, listening to her exclamations of, “this is so exciting!” Quinton wants to cuddle with me and asks, “Can you read me my book?”

The kidsI know I’m their mom and in some ways they’ll always need me but I’m feeling their greater independence on the horizon. It makes me think of those days when the sun is setting and the light is perfect, giving everything an almost technicolor brightness; a light so thick it feels like I could grasp it if only I could move fast or slow enough. Everything those rays touch look like they’re glowing from the inside out, flaring brightly before the light fades, leaving me with an achingly sweet melancholy. Right now my children’s need for me feels like that – it’s temporary, it’s amazing and it will fade.

As it should.

But I do so enjoy taking a few deep breaths and sitting with them when they ask me, fully aware that the sun will eventually set on this as well.