photo credit: Eva
Moms with little ones understand that days can be long and nights far too short. Days are so full, and nights too brief to feel revitalizing. This is a reality that many can identify with (and some of you are identifying with as of last night!)
When the children were little, Nathan and I took for granted our freedom to converse during dinner, then enjoying each other’s company the rest of the evening. As many of you can appreciate, time and life have changed this dynamic…ever so slightly – Ever since we’ve had a table (yes, there was a time when all we had was a countertop!) Nathan would sit at the head, and I next to him. Now at our long farmhouse table, it’s that way, and it’s been this way since the beginning. These days, however, even though I’m sitting comfortably at my place beside him, I feel the need to raise my hand to have a chance to ask him how his day has been – and I miss him.
When people ask me: “What’s the hardest thing about having seven children?” I don’t really have much to say, although if forced to answer, my reply would probably shock them – not the laundry or the diapers or the grocery bill.
“I miss my husband.”
Sometimes it’s only a couple of trite questions I want to ask, and sometimes it’s truly a deep concern I need to share; but when Daddy’s walking in the door, all the little people long to see him as much as I do! I will wait while they cheer, jump-on, hug, and kiss – and I miss him.
For a long time now, Nathan has been encouraging me to let the children do dinner clean-up – and not me. He insists that they can do it, that it will be fine, that they have to start somewhere, that they’ve done it before, to get out of the kitchen! But I’m just not good at it. Slowly, I’m realizing that I’m not good at it, because I haven’t completely shifted out of the day’s hustling, yet. And I can’t quiet that little voice in my head that nags me to check for empty milk cups that might somehow have ended up in the fridge, or for shrimp left-overs safely stowed – in the pantry (both of these are true events – grrr!)
Since the evenings have been warmer recently, we have been eating supper out back under a massive maple. We sit al fresco on benches at the pine table. Tonight I am resolved – I will sit with him on the bench as usual, but I will allow the minutes to linger while I cherish the moments of slow. The busyness will be for the children (they have the energy, after all!) and mine will be the cleansing, not of the kitchen, but of the days’ pesky stressors. We will talk about vision and inspiration and just relax. We will have time to think and to listen, to breathe in the air and breathe in each other’s presence. I will be present, honest, and renewed.
My prayer is that this new habit will be recreated again and again!
And that’s my prayer for you too, no matter what your presence-plunderers may be.
After all, while our children have graciously become our overflowing joy and bounty….Adam and Eve were alone-in-the-garden!
with love. Damaris