The request came at a point in my day when I was exhausted. “Mom, will you come outside and watch for meteors with us?” The request materialized a couple of hours ago at 10 PM. One of the nights of the Perseid Meteor Shower. Not only was I physically drained but I still needed to make a grocery list and write a blog post.
“Mom, over here!” On a beautiful and cool night we had been invited to a friend’s house for a party. I had just filled my plate with food and was heading to sit by the pool with some friends when I heard my son call to me. I noticed he was sitting alone and my heart evoked the pain of having nobody to talk to when everyone else is having a great time visiting with each other. So I quickly diverted my path from the table filled with friends laughing and having fun to sit with my little boy.
“Mom, will you play volleyball with me in the yard?” Although, my body was tired from already doing a hard workout and looking at a daunting to-do list, my daughter’s request could not be ignored. She was working hard to expand her skills in the sport she loved most. I mustered the little bit of energy I had left and used it to bump the ball, run after serves, and dive for kills.
With three kids, the requests for Mom seem unending. Unfortunately, my task list and schedule also seem endless.
When my kids asked if I would join them on the deck for the meteor shower, I was tempted to say, “Not tonight.” But then I thought back to the days when they were smaller and the many bedtime stories I would read to them. Scheming against going to sleep, there was always, “Just one more, Mom.”
Now I searched my memory for when the very last request for a bedtime story came. I could not remember that night and I was left to question, did I end with a, “Not tonight,” or a “You bet we can read one more.”
Our kids only grow up once. Someone wise once said in describing raising kids, “The days are long but the years are short.” The long days often tempt us with a “no” answer. There is always something else competing for our time on a daily basis.
But as our kids grow, it’s important to remember there will be a last time for certain requests.
- “Mom, will you hold me?”
- “Mom, will you play a game with me?”
- “Mom, will you read me a book?”
- “Mom, can I make cookies with you?”
- “Mom, can we do something special together today?”
The thought of not knowing when the last request will come encourages me to say, “yes” more than I say, “no.”
After considering my children’s fleeting requests, I donned a sweatshirt and sweatpants and headed outside with my two excited children to watch for meteors.
Without computers, phones, video games, iPods, and other distracting influences, we began a lovely and focused conversation.
- We contemplated if bugs sleep.
- We questioned God’s choice of sound for certain animals upon hearing an owl hooting.
- I answered questions about the bible.
- We discussed the upcoming school year and all the fear and excitement it’s generating.
- We oohed and awed over each meteor we saw and took a tally of how many each saw.
- We saw a bat. A BAT??? Okay, I’ll admit the bat sighting made me ponder if my love for my children really needed to supersede my grocery list. But I planted myself in my seat and proceeded to fling my arms in a frenzy when a moth would pass by fearing it was the bat. I soon became the entertaining headliner eclipsing the meteor shower
Although my grocery list sits blank on the kitchen counter and I’m working on this blog post at midnight, I feel good about my decision.
Grocery lists will await me the rest of my life. The opportunity to write will most likely continue long after my kids have grown and moved on with their own lives. However, the time I have with my children at home is fading fast. I want to make the most of it while I have the opportunity.
Are you in the midst of busy days while raising kids? Are you inundated with your kid’s requests? Which ones will you miss most someday? Will you begin to say, “yes” more than, “no”?
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©2013 Connie Davis Johnson