It was a lazy day, not the kind when one is lazily enjoying the company of family, but the kind of laziness that kept me from doing anything interactive at all. My dishes were everywhere, my house was a disaster (yard sale consequences), and my kiddos were left to their own devices.
I was lost in blog land, for hours it seemed. And then I got to one blog written by a single mother (not single by choice) of four boys. She wrote about how she has to work five jobs to stay in her house and how she worries for her boys. She spoke of the strain she sees of divorce on her children. She voiced her hurt. She also lovingly described the ways she stops everything she's doing when she is home with them and looks them each in the face, and reads stories, prays with them, and tickles them. Because time flies and she didn't want to miss their childhood.
That's when I left my computer.
I don't want to be near my children in body, but never engaging their hearts.
I joined my little people outside and in my haste to be with them, locked us out of the house.
Now, hubby was gone helping a family member with a house project, and that left me, outside with no cell phone. I knew he would be home in about an hour, so I thought we'd just sit in the shade and enjoy it.
It's amazing how attitude can make or break an opportunity like that. When I first told my kids we were locked out, one said "Oh no, now we'll never get in!" Isn't that just like us? To see the negative first? Another one said, "But we'll be bored out here!" Really? It seems to me that we were given imaginations for a reason. Yet another one said, "If you guys would have just checked the door knob before you closed the door... " Shift the blame onto someone else, that's the way it's done.
Okay, that last one was me.
At that moment, I had a choice: to admit it was my doing and change the attitude atmosphere, or to keep the scowl on.
Thankfully, I chose wisely and admitted it was my fault we were locked out. And changed my tactic to, hey, let's be together!
I turned the sprinkler on and let them at it with their clothing on. That changed everything. I could have been further tempted to scowl when I realized that my little guy had done his "dooty" in his diaper. Literally, the flies were swarming around him, folks. But, again, I decided to relax because I couldn't change a darn-tootin thing at that moment.
When I ponder how quickly time is flying by, it gives me pause. I think about how I can only remember small fragments from even when my little guy was a babe. That was only 2.5 years ago! How my firstborn looked as a baby, I seem to recall only in the photos I see of her.
So, my prayer is that I would learn this lesson early and learn it well. And even in the harried moments, remember...
Babies don't keep.