I don’t have a job anymore, so I’m home every day with plenty of time spent with my thoughts. The wonderful thing about this is that I have much time to ponder life. Though there are a thousand things I could do (like, hey, clean the floors more often), I find that the time flies while Mason is at nursery school (it’s only for a couple hours), and then fly even faster till it’s time to pick Story up. The house is clean enough, the laundry is in constant rotation, the meals are prepared, and fun happens. But there are never enough hours. And I’m not actually talking about the hours to “get stuff done”. I’m talking about the hours I get to spend with my kids.
Minutes turn to hours, which become days and weeks. Months go by and I watch my children grow up. I can’t believe my daughter is already six, and I am absolutely certain that tomorrow I’ll wake up and she’ll be thirty years old. Gone are the days when I could choose her clothes, or answer for her. Independent and opinionated, confident and assured is she. My son was just born, but I’m planning his third birthday party. Third birthday. He is already daunting and carefree, curious and adventurous. Those sleepless nights when he was so sick as a newborn felt like they’d never end, but are now a distant memory. I know what my parents mean now; time certainly does fly.
When I hold their hands, I want to permanently imprint the feeling into my palm. Their soft fingers wrapped delicately around my own; intertwined, innocent and trusting. I stroke their heads and caress soft cheeks while they sleep, committing these scents and feelings to permanent memory. I watch as their chests rise and fall with sweet breaths, and see eyelids flutter, behind them great dreams taking place.
I watch them fully invest imaginations in play, alone and together. I see their love for one another, as my daughter reaches out for my son’s hand, or my son asks when his sister will be home to play.
They devour knowledge and I try to steer them on the path of kindness, to teach them to forgive, be patient, and to never stop wanting to know more.
I want more hours spent rolling in laughter on the floor. More time teaching them about the wildlife in our backyard, and seeing their eyes fill with wonder at such simple pleasures.
I get lost in the day-to-day of wanting this or that, seeking more or less, of wishing time away. Nothing material will ever replace the sound of their tiny voices saying my name: mommy.
They tell me funny jokes and I keep them in a file. Their first pieces of artwork, saved. I listen to them, and revel in their thoughts, replaying conversations through my mind whenever it’s quiet and I want comfort. Each kiss with faces turned upwards, each hug from small, yet strong arms, each snuggle and request to be picked up is answered happily by me and cherished. I know these days are short and in no time, the kisses will be metered out scarcely and nobody will be begging me to play.
If I had a genie, I’d wish for more time. Forever more hours with my amazing children.