Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Be Present

Wow, it has been longer than I thought since I last blogged. Sometimes time just gets away with me.

I have been thinking a lot about what kind of mother I am and what kind of mother I want to be. I have found that when I am home from work, my thoughts are often still either on work or on my classes. Instead of getting my full attention, my children have been getting only partial attention. That is not fair to them at all. They are my greatest blessing and as such, deserve my full time and attention. It's not their fault that their mother works and they should never come last on my list of priorities.

The quote from David O. McKay (one of the former prophets of my church) that reads, "No other success can compensate for failure in the home" has been on my mind quite a bit. Reading this quote, I was once again reminded that no matter what I do at school, it will never be as important as what I do at home. I know that, but sometimes I forget.

I set the goal to be present when I am home. No more thinking of work, the state of my house, the classwork I need to finish, or other distractions. All of that can wait until the next day or when my kids are in bed. In the time I am home with my kids, they get all of me, as much as possible, every single day. They need that and I need that.

Since doing this, I have found my relationship with my children is blossoming more every day. On the drive back from Grandma's house (she watches the children for me), we turn off the radio and talk. I hear what is going on at school from Camden and enjoy the small talk from Easton. We talk about the best and worst parts of our day and as a result, we are all looking for the positive more. Sometimes we sing, sometimes we tell silly stories, sometimes we just chat, but I love every minute of that. I treasure this quiet time with them, free from worldly distractions.

Because I am working so hard on being present, I notice the small things so much more. I notice the crinkles that appear around the eyes of my boys as we have a tickle fight and they laugh and laugh and laugh until they finally give in and say, "Mommy is the best" (the only way tickle fights end in our house). I memorize the peals of laughter that ring out from the jokes and stories told. I treasure the deep conversations as I teach my boys life lessons that help that help them become the men I hope they will be. I admire their growing bodies and notice how Camden is turning into a long, lanky boy that is all arms and legs while Easton is losing his baby face and looking more like a little boy. I delight in the funny things they say, like Easton praying for, "A baby sister and a ghost" and Camden telling me, "I'm much skinnier than you Mom." I love it all.

These years fly by way too fast. My oldest is six and my youngest is three. It won't be long before they won't need me in the same way. They won't want to cuddle me, give me hugs, or give kisses daily. One day Camden won't tell me that I am the most beautiful girl he knows and that he wants to marry me when he gets older. One day Easton won't want me to kiss his owies better. Before these days slip away for good, I need enjoy every moment. I need to savor the simpleness of each day and to suck the marrow out of the beauty and joy they create. I need to always be present for them and in their lives. It is the most important thing I can do each day, taking mental snapshots of my boys and their daily lives, putting aside all other cares and focuses, and giving all my attention to them.

To any readers out there, how do you try to be present each day? What do you notice when you are fully present?