1,000 Things To Do Today
In my bathroom, hangs a piece of art that my sister-in-law helped my girls make for me for some holiday, years ago. It might have been my birthday, it could have been Mother's Day. The occasion is not important, but the piece of art is so important!
My sister-in-law painted the words; my girls painted the art. The girls were young when it was painted, maybe 2 and 4 years old. 3 and 5 at the oldest. The artwork is that of my young children and conjures the warm and fuzzies within me.
The words speak straight into my heart. It says “Today I had a thousand things to do until I remembered the way you glow with love every time we touch. Suddenly, it was clear to me that there is really only one thing to do in this life and always a thousand ways to do it.”
How true is this!? As a mom, we are also personal chefs, wardrobe designers, bobo nurses, homework helpers, chauffeurs, sports managers, therapists, the knower and finder of all of the things, the master scheduler, and just so much!
Once, Lily was upset with me because I did not know where her shoes were located. I explained to her that I cannot possibly know where everything is all of the time. I have to take care of my stuff, her stuff, her little sister's stuff, her daddy’s stuff, the stuff for the dog, and stuff for the two cats. She looked at me, momentarily in awe, as if I were some sort of mental super genius. I certainly am not! Some days, I'm lucky if everyone leaves the house wearing underwear.
Kate will sometimes comment that I do everything for everyone. It isn't true of course, but sometimes, through her eyes, and must seem like it. Not that I am trying to be a martyr, just trying to say that we are seen.
I see you, Mama, over there juggling sports equipment and snacks, signing up to be the room mother and planning birthday parties. I see you staying up later than you should just to have a moment's peace by yourself, where you can eat a snack without having to share it and watch TV that doesn't have animation or songs. I see you wishing that you could just turn the alarm off in the morning, but settling for one round of the snooze button.
More important than me seeing you, your little sees you. Your little may not understand all of the ins and outs of negotiating parenthood. Maybe, one day they will. But your little sees you through eyes of admiration and wants nothing more than your eyes to be back on them. So, as you are running around doing the 1,000 things that need doing today, remind yourself to take joy in the little hand that innocently slips into your own. When the tug comes on your hem with pleas to play, put down your work for 5 minutes and play. When the little wants to help you cook dinner, even though it may not be convenient, hand her the salad to toss. Remember that to them the little things are dearly important!
I don't think anyone ever goes to the grave wishing they had worked more or spent less time with the things that are important.... It was clear to me that there is really only one thing to do in this life and always a thousand ways to do it. Go out there and do it, Mama!