Thursday, January 26, 2012

Things they'll remember...


I started writing this post last week, which is something that rarely happens. It isn't that I am a shallow person, I just tend toward more shallow, short blog posts. I don't generally spend more than 15 minutes writing any one post, that is how I keep this thing going.
So last week when I started to write this I realized that it was going to require some extra thought and probably an extra 15 minutes or so, and I just wasn't sure if it was worth it, I think it is. My last thoughtful post was on our little Ignatius and this post is a little spin off of that, but since I have delayed so in finishing it, it has already changed a bit.

After our recent loss, I found myself spending many more hours of our days just sitting with my girls. Playing with them on the floor gratuitous amounts each day, reading more books to them than I generally do, sitting and eating with them at the breakfast table in stead of loading the remnants of last night's dishes into the dishwasher, just staring at them,. etc, you get the point. I was soaking so much more in than I ever had before and it hit me that of everything that happens in our days, those are the thing they will remember. For almost 2 weeks after our miscarriage, I held my girls more tightly than I ever had. I neglected an overwhelming amount of housework and phones calls to insurance companies to just sit with them. It was the best I ever felt during my time as a mother.

I love my mother with my whole heart and she is the reason that I am who I am today (a Catholic woman, striving to be holy and love the Lord instead of lying dead in a gutter somewhere. Exaggeration? Maybe, but maybe not) My mother is phenomenal. She bore and raised 8 children who are all grown and practicing Catholics- not bad. The main thing that I remember of my mom growing up was how well she kept the house. She was constantly moving, taking care of us, cleaning, feeding us, cleaning, busing us around, cleaning some more. Although I know how well she kept our home, the things that stick out the most to me upon real reflection are the quiet moments spent with her. I remember her homeschooling me through preschool, I remember coming home from school and eating in the kitchen while she talked to us, and her giving me back scratches in the evening before bed. I am sure she wishes that she would have gotten more of those moments with me and my siblings now that we are all grown. I feel sure of this because I already feel this way and I only have a 2 1/2-year-old and a 1-year-old. I can feel the days slipping by and it feels so pointless to have spent any day doing more house work than actually spending time with these precious girls.

But those other duties call and I have to answer: so the juggling has commenced. It breaks my heart that I cannot just sit and have long conversations with Naomi about who she wants to marry more: Robin Hood or Peter Pan (it is a serious struggle for her). Or just hold my little Bernadette on my lap for as long as she will sit there and smother her with as many kisses as she'll let me give. At some point I have to switch the laundry around or it will mildew, I have to load the dishes or the food will harden and attract bugs, I have to clean the bathroom because it smells like urine... These things are good and are helping me work out my salvation, but while I am doing them my heart is with my girls because that is where it is meant to be.

I am sure that the struggle to find and seize quiet moments with my little ones will only get harder, especially if God blesses us with more children, but I will continue to struggle because there is nothing more worth while. I am know how imperfect I am and how many unflattering moments I give them to remember me by each day, I just hope that I can outweigh the not-so-good moments with enough sweet ones for them to remember.

8 comments :

  1. I'm glad you wrote this. My first will start kindergarten this fall and I am beginning to see how much time I've spent doing other "important" things instead of just being with him. I'm trying my best to balance housework and spending quality time with the kids. It's hard, but I'd rather them remember me reading or playing with them and not how often I washed the dishes.

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  2. When my two older kids were little, I worked outside the home and spent WAY too few hours just *being* with them. It was always rushing and preparing and hurry,hurry,hurry and I still feel guilty about those days. Finding balance is very hard. We sure do have a challenging job!

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  3. Great post Ana! And SO true. At the end of each day, when I think about how our day went, I usually find myself wishing I had spent more time with the girls...I am with them all day long but it is so easy not to be present with them..to get caught up in all the things I need to get done. But I know that the most important part of my job is simply to spend time with them...even if it means playing all day long sometimes!

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  4. Thank you for sharing! I feel the same way and it is so good to be reminded and encouraged. You are a beautiful mother and I am so grateful to have you as a friend!

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  5. Beautiful :) It makes me feel like I need some time to reflect on my tiny wonders. Unfortunately, I spend a lot of time sitting just until they make a beeline for me. Then I get up and do my chores. I need to be better about that. Thanks for the reminder :)

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  6. What a beautiful reminder Ana. love it. too bad everyone is asleep right now. Maybe I will go wake up someone to snuggle. I am more excited for tomorrow with my little sweeties now. :)

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  7. I am so happy I happened upon your site today. This is beautiful. Thanks so much for the reminder.

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