Christina M. Currie: Busy bodies
Craig — “You’re the best mommy ever!,” 6-year-old Katie said while giving me a hug.
It was out of the blue, not like the times when I give subtle hints like, “am I a good mommy?” or “I’m such a bad mommy,” to elicit praise.
Nope, Katie’s statement wasn’t made under duress or out of guilt.
And it wasn’t one of those gestures that 5-year-old Nikki has patented, “Mommy, I love you all the way to the moon … can I have a snack?”
Kids are so smart.
Anyway, Katie’s gesture was simple. Spontaneous. Loving.
I’ve noticed during the past couple of weeks that things like that have been happening with some regularity. Nikki reaches out to hold my hand when we’re walking through the house and I’ve been hopping a lot to catch blown kisses.
What’s strange is I haven’t felt like I’ve done anything to deserve such unabashed affection lately.
In fact, life has spiraled so out of control that I don’t feel like a very good mommy let alone “the greatest mommy ever.”
Things have just been busy and we’re all running in different directions. The girls have places they want to spend the night and I have work to do, committees to chair and meetings to attend.
When, exactly, did we lose control?
By “we,” I mean everybody. I haven’t talked to a single person lately who hasn’t sighed and said things were just “too busy.” Of course, they tell me this out of the side of their mouths while thumbing through their appointment book trying to decided which of the three 2 o’clock appointments they were going to leave early so they could make the last half of the second meeting and explaining via cell phone why they were so sorry, but couldn’t make the third.
As for me, if I did have the time to take the girls to McDonald’s, I wouldn’t do it without my cell phone and laptop (in my defense, that’s not too out of control. I’d normally take a book. There only are so many times you can cheer when they hit the bottom of the slide before even they’re tired of hearing it).
But (not in my defense) I can’t tell you how many meetings I show up for carrying a box of crayons and whispering “it’ll be fast, I promise.”
So, when my children start getting extra loveable and a little clingy, it sets off a big red flag.
I’m busy, not stupid.
That’s not true. I’m just plain stupid.
I can’t count the times I’ve sat in front of the computer listening to the girls laugh and telling myself “tomorrow, we’ll do something special just for us.”
I’m procrastinating doing the single most important thing in my life, justifying it by telling myself that this project may be due next week, but my children will be here forever.
Tomorrow, we’ll read a book.
Tomorrow, we’ll jump on the trampoline.
Tomorrow, we’ll watch a movie together.
Tomorrow, they’ll be 14 and too embarrassed to be seen with mom.
Tomorrow, they’ll be 18 and too wrapped up in their own lives to spend time with mom.
Tomorrow, they’ll be 30 and too busy …
Tomorrow is the worst word in any language.
There is only today. Only today to live and only today to play.
I’m going to make the most of today.
Don’t call. I mean no offense, but I have better things to do. Like be the best mommy ever.
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