Updated: Jul 25, 2019
“Mommy, I can’t find the Phillips head screwdriver” my industrious five year old says. He wants so badly to change the batteries so we can play a game together while my three year old takes a rare nap. The baby needs changing before his nap, the diaper pail is full again, my bed is covered in clean clothes I dumped out this morning trying to find swimsuits, the kitchen is a mess. But it’s summer, the last summer before kindergarten, and he wants to spend time with me.
He’s great at entertaining himself, he’s got an incredible imagination, and there are so many things I could do with a few minutes of quiet - things I could check off my to do list, rooms that need cleaning, emails that need responses or, an almost forbidden thing to dream of - a few stolen afternoon minutes alone with a book. But - my oldest, he wants time with me.
I hurry to change the baby and get him down for a nap, rush back downstairs excited for a few precious minutes of one on one time. When I get downstairs, my husband is in the kitchen, unexpectedly home for a late lunch. We chat for a few minutes while I try to replace the batteries in the game, only to realize the game is broken.
Since we already have the batteries out, we get a new bubble machine going and head to the porch. I can hear the three year old stirring and know that our minutes, just the two of us, are numbered. So I give my full attention, notice things about him that sometimes I miss in the daily chaos of three children, and tuck this memory away in my mind.
It’s only a few minutes before my three year old joins us on the porch, and to his credit, the five year old welcomes him into our world of bubbles. Together we laugh and play, blowing bubbles, and watching the dog jump to catch them. The afternoon sun is hot, and before long we retreat inside, and a game of Zingo follows.
The kitchen is still a mess, the laundry still isn’t folded, and I didn’t get all of the one on one time I had hoped for with my oldest - but today? Today, I spent my time wisely.