Thursday, July 18, 2013

Go Ahead. Make Their Day.

The other night I was baking cookies after the kids went to bed. We needed a couple batches to sell at the lemonade stand and that was just the time it happened to work out for me that day. House all quiet and peaceful, me in my personal zone...the kitchen. No one underfoot, no one yanking on my apron strings saying, "Mommy. Mom. Mommy. Mommy." And so on. It was nice. It was peaceful. The rum and cola on the counter next to me was pretty good, too. I have to soak in these moments as I can get them.

While I was putting away the last cookie sheet full, I heard my three year old daughter in her room above me, moving around a bit. In the baby monitor I could also hear that she was making her usual voices for all her little stuffed animals, deep in conversation, still awake and playing at 11:30 at night. I stood there for a moment looking at the beautiful tray of cookies, perfectly zip lock baggied into groups of two cookies each, ready for sale the next afternoon. I had, of course, made an even number of cookies, forty eight to be exact. It only took a few seconds to say to hell with my undiagnosed OCD, forty six cookies should be just fine. I snatched up a snack size bag of two cookies, still warm and gooey-chewy, poured a small glass of milk and went straight up to DJ's room.

I gently knocked on the door and cracked it open. She saw me right away and was at first a little startled and a worried look flashed momentarily across her sweet face. That look left her face quickly because she doesn't really get in trouble for being up. She is allowed to fall asleep at her own pace. Some days she naps, some days she doesn't. She doesn't have to be up for daycare anymore. I may just have to sneak up and check her pull up or remind her to be quiet and in her bed. But this night she saw me come in smiling. I walked up to her and her entourage of fluffy animal friends and told her that I had brought her a surprise treat and then held out the cookies and the glass of cold milk. I wish I could have taken a picture of her face. That would have ruined the perfect spontaneity and sweetness of the moment so a mental picture will have to do. She looked up at me with her big blue eyes and a little half smile on her face, cocked her head to one side and asked, "Why?" Only half caring about my answer. I replied, "Because I love you and I just finished baking all the cookies for our lemonade party tomorrow." That rocked her world. Her smile expanded across her face and she held out her little hand for me to place a cookie in.

And so we sat there, just the two of us, each nibbling sweet buttery cookie and melted chocolaty goodness. We talked about I can't even remember what, but we did. We laughed, we smiled, we hugged. We took turns washing our bites down with milk and giggled about our front teeth being covered in chocolate. She glowed. It was beautiful. I gave her a big hug and kiss, tucked her and all her little animals back in and went back downstairs, I am pretty sure she was asleep within minutes. I will never forget that little bit of time I spent with my daughter, for as long as I live.

I know that this is not something I should do all of the time. I also know that I need to make sure that I am taking blessed opportunities to have special one on one moments with each of my five amazing children. I need to put a little more effort into this side of motherhood. I am so busy and overwhelmed so often nowadays. I need to try harder...but to do so without trying too hard...if that makes any sense. I need to make their day, whenever I can.

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