It's a part of parenthood that is hard for me. To relax. Sure I finally relax at the end of each day. But during the day - is it possible to relax knowing that there are a million things I could get a head start on?
It is not every day that I get a chance to take a breath and just sit. As I imagine it is for most working moms. Usually when we pull in the driveway, it's a matter of quickly unloading, going in to change clothes, and then I heading back out to go teach a class or two at the gym.
And then on Tuesday last week a little girl chimed in as we pulled into the driveway, "Mommy can we jump ow-side?! You watch me?!" And I for a second started to hesitate. But instead, I shook my mental list of "things I can get a head start on" and I said, "Okay, babe, let me put our bags down inside, and we will come right back out." On this particular day, I didn't have to quickly change and leave. I had time in between. It was as if somehow, her little self could just sense that mommy needed a few minutes to just relax. A few minutes to sit and enjoy the beautiful fall day that was taking place outside. Maybe she is my whisper from God to take a breath. To enjoy the time in the moment when we have it - and not use it trying to mark things off my list like laundry, dishes, or cleaning out the fridge.
And so I sat and watched as she jumped on the trampoline and Henry showed his enjoyment for being outside of the gate by rolling in the grass. I jotted a few things down in my 52 Lists Book that I had yet to start for the week. Ironically, the theme for the week was "LIST YOUR GREATEST COMFORTS." Ahhh, I thought to myself, "I see what you did there, God!" It also dawned on me that I shook my "mental to-do list", to actually "write a list" - He's smiling, I know. And I smiled as she brought me rocks from the driveway (her new favorite thing to collect lately). And then began to bring me sticks she had collected and asked me so carefully to hold..."here, mama, hode deez."
In that moment that I realized it had been a while since we just enjoyed an afternoon - unrushed - after school. It was more than worth documenting with my phone camera.
Parenting is full challenges. Not being able to relax is not even on the top ten of that list, but it is a struggle. Am I right?! But I also feel that they are my grace. The two of them, Ellis and Henry, give me His kind of grace. Pure and complete unconditional love. Even on the days when we are rushed and don't have time to sit out and relax, they give me grace in the simple acts of just being them. Sweet, silly, crazy, rock-and-stick-collecting, rolling in the grass, cat-chasing, loving hearts. And I guess in some way, when I remember that, I can relax - even during the rush.