16 July 2007

Return of The Queen

Big A finally made it back to the castle after enjoying a hiatus from our real lives. Instead of waking each morning at 6:00 to be shuttled to the sitter and then day camp, she's spent a lot of time this summer in the company of her relatives, eating smores, beaching it and enjoying being a child in general.

I wish that I could give that to her....lazy summer days, unfettered by exhausting work schedules and a universe in which the sun revolves around her and not the various circumstances in her parent's lives.

Completely unappreciated until I became a mother were the summer days of my youth. How could you know that there was magic in the most simple things back then--just having a mom to stay home with and deliver popsicles to whichever end of the property we chose to sojourn to that day?

I'm amazed lately at how time is flying, flying, flying by and my inability to grasp it at all. In January, I bought paint for the girls rooms.


It is now July. The paint is still sitting in the cans, no longer gently nudging me when I open the hall door to grab the vacuum, but instead grabbing my shirt and screaming at me: "Intentions, gathering dust here".

I remember the day that we selected the colors; how Big A literally had at least forty different selection cards in her sweet hands, squinting and holding them up, comparing and contrasting the subtle differences in this brands lavender to that brands lavender, noting that one of the shades of yellow looked like butter while a different one reminded her too much of a bee, so it was the butter that we went with.

What is wrong with me that I've found time to do many other things, but not to pick up a paintbrush and give her the room that she wants? Please don't feel compelled to answer that question--in reality it is rhetorical.

I keep thinking that I need more time, more time, more time, despite the fact that I get up very early and go to bed very late each night--when in reality, what I need is to prioritize.

This catch-up way of life isn't good for any of us--this thought that tomorrow, I won't be as busy and I'll make sure that I take time then to hold Little A a few minutes longer or play hangman with Big A instead of folding the laundry--thank God that I have a chance to make this right, that my tomorrow's haven't been taken from me.

I've decided that most of my recreational activities are going to be halted. Soccer cleats exchanged for family bike rides, basketball with co-workers traded for helping Big A hone her own skills. Softball? I'm keeping it. It's mine. I'm not a martyr, just a mom....an imperfect, sometimes very selfish one at that.

I've been focusing too much on the small details of the painting of our lives--making sure the petals on this flower and that flower were just so, without taking time to step back and appreciate the entire mural.

And there we are, back to the paint again. The paint, which tonight will make it's debut on the walls of Big A's quarters, the servant thanking the Lord above with each stroke that she has a chance to color the world of those she loves the most.


mamalang said...

As usual, very nice!

It took me a long time to come to realize that the dishes, laundry, it all could wait a little longer if necessary...but my kids, they won't be kids for long. It sounds so cliched, but it's the truth. I still struggle to get it all in, but I try very hard to make a concious effort daily to "be there" for my kids.

Good luck with the paint. Would love to see how it turns out.

Her Grace said...

It is a hard lesson to learn, one I have to keep teaching myself over and over again. Like Mamalang said, it sounds cliche, but it's so true...they really are little only for a short time.

(That said, I don't think there should be guilt over keeping softball. Happy moms are moms who take care of themselves too.)

Can't wait to see her room.

Her Grace said...

P.S. "Intentions, gathering dust here." I hear that nearly every time I open a door around here :)

JMA said...


Now I feel extremely guilty that we haven't yet painted the "baby's" room. The baby who is almost 18 months old. I think I saw in Martha Stewart Living that raw gypsum board with drywall screws was a hot look for children's rooms. No?

KC said...

I wish I could always be there- ever present for my child- but I'm not always. And not just physically present, but heart and soul present.

Have a lovely time painting- I love what paint can do to a room. Big A will love her butter, I'm sure.

slouching mom said...

Oh, the "intentions, gathering dust here."

We've all got a lot of those, haven't we?

You'll have to post a photo of the walls.

She'll love the change.

toni in the midst said...

What a beautiful post, Jenn. I loved this point;
Completely unappreciated until I became a mother were the summer days of my youth
Isn't that the truth!

bgirl said...

my wish is the same as yours, the ability to be the one who gives the lazy days to my child. the challenge, as you point out, is needing more time. if you find out where to get it, let me know!

flutter said...

Jenn, you gorgeous beast. This was phenomenal. Just beautiful and real and lovely

JMA said...

You and I both know that there was no Martha Stewart article. But let's pretend, 'k? It assuages my guilt, which empowers me to do things, such as read entertaining and insightful blogs, without all of the messy, emotional side effects.

Jonas said...

Yup. What flutter said...

luckyzmom said...

Light up like a Christmas tree and look them in the eyes whenever they walk in, because in the blink of an eye they will be out on their own.

PS After a long dry spell I have recently posted twice.

Angela said...

I have dishes laundry cleaning to do I know if I don't take my son outside during the day I will feel guilty. It is all about doing what you think you need to do at the time and hoping you don't miss anything. Have fun painting

Amanda said...

This road we're on is fraught with hairpin turns and potholes, it's only normal to stumble from time to time. Could've been January and back. Be gentle with yourself.

Christine said...

you make me so love coming to this place of yours, this house, really.

butter. delicious. i love paint chips and wrote of them just now. weird.

have a popsicle with the A's tomorrow. hell, have 2!

jen said...

ahhh. yes. i keep trying to teach myself this over and over. and i hope to do better each time.

happy painting.

Jungle Mama said...

Hail the Queen!

I'm just stopping by after a referal to your site by Mrs. Incredible. I should thank her very much for introducing me to your wonderful blog. I can completely relate to your posts! You are also a gifted writer for sure. Thank you for sharing your talent.

Jungle Mama of "Our Blooming Jungle"

Seattle Mamacita said...

i'm glad you're keeping the softball jenn it is yours, we need these steal away moments just for ourselves too!