Their naps fall right at cleaning up from lunch and wrapping up morning school stuff, and right before a full afternoon, squeezing all the life out of it I can.
“Will you tell me a story about a horse that poops butterflies?” Her sweet smile begs.
He wants one about monster trucks. Again.
I was busy. I tell lots of stories. Today I needed to hurry and do…
more important stuff.
And I knew instantly, though she didn’t complain, what I was about to miss.
It’s the thousand small things in a day–the tiny, rhythmic motions that assure a child all is well, life is sure and steady.
It’s my choice to value our short story time as much as the other things, to tell her, by my stopping, that this–she–is the more important stuff.
Don’t we like to think that parenting greatness comes in big, lofty moments? That would be easier. But everything good happens slowly, steadily, growing almost imperceptible over time, through the ignoble, and it’s no different growing people. Maybe that’s why fewer and fewer are signing up for full time parenthood.
Simple. But excruciatingly hard.
And whether it’s telling a nap time story, waiting patiently for a shoe-tying rookie, or putting the broom down because my teenager needs to talk, if I rush through it, or neglect it altogether so I can be “on to bigger things”, I’ve missed the bigger things already.
“We cannot do great things on this earth. We can only do little things with great love.” -Mother Teresa