Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Simple Gift of One-At-A-Time

Last Friday, LilBro didn't have preschool. That gave the two of us a few hours of "special time" while the older two kids were in their enrichment classes.

I had a meeting to attend the first part of our time, and packed LilBro's Nintendo, some snacks, and a promise of something fun afterwards. It helped a lot that one of the older women in the meeting had set aside a chocolate donut for LilBro. When the meeting ended, he and I headed over to the History museum for storytime.

LilBro sat on a cushion down in front. I sat on a stool in the back, watching him the entire time. He was engaged. He listened. He answered questions. He participated. He seemed so grown-up to me. I was awed. And thrilled. I think I had the goofiest grin on my face the entire time. It was such a joy to get to relax and enjoy LilBro, just being 3 1/2.

Later that same day, I dropped LilBro and Princess at a friend's house for a sleepover. BigBro was staying with another friend, but wasn't being dropped off until later. We had a few hours to ourselves, and BigBro was anxious to see the second Harry Potter movie. We popped some popcorn, dug some tiny boxes of Milk Duds out of the bag of Halloween candy, and curled up on the couch together. It had been a while since we'd read this book, and it was fun watching BigBro remember the details of the story.

When I had some quiet time on Saturday afternoon to sit still, my mind returned to my busy Friday, and how incredibly special it had been. It is rare that I get to spend time alone with one of the kids, unless it is something pre-scheduled with DH, or someone decides to tag along on a grocery trip. The things we did together were simple: story time, watching a movie. But, for me, the real power in it was in the slowing down... the focusing on just one child, one activity, at a time.

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