Thursday, September 1, 2011

Alone with Noah

We got to spend three days alone with our little guy.
Aside from the two days we spent with him in the hospital, that's one of the first times we've truly been alone with him for any extended period of time.
In big families, you steal private moments with your children.
Going to the grocery store with one child becomes an opportunity for one-on-one time.
Grabbing a Diet Coke at Quik Trip is another date.
The five minute walk to the football field counts as private time.
Three days? Three days alone with one child rarely happens.

It made me realize how often I'm in a hurry. Mentally I'm always managing something. My mind is constantly juggling. I'm rarely just living in the moment. I'm always planning the next moment.
Yep, I'll play catch with you. We have ten minutes.
No, we can't make cookies. We're leaving in four minutes.
Quick game of cards. Quick, Guys! It's time for football.

Two things I thought of while I just had Noah.

First. Do I ever play with my kids until they are ready to quit? No. I always call off the fun.
I've never heard them say, "I'm done swinging, Mom. Stop pushing me." I always stop pushing before they are ready.
I've never played catch until they are tired of playing catch. I'm always saying "Okay, 50 more." Always counting down.

For one three day period, I tried. We pushed Noah around the block on a little bike and never once looked at our watch. What did we really need to do anyway? We just enjoyed the walk. It was so refreshing.

I took him to the park and went down the slide with him over and over again. He kept giggling and saying "Gin, Mommy! Gin!" Even though I really wanted to be done sliding, I kept sliding just for him. It really was quite fun.

Second. Have I taught my kids to enjoy the things in life that are not dependent on income? They aren't promised any income when they grow up. Wouldn't it be a great gift to enjoy the things with my children that they will always be able to enjoy regardless of their financial status in life? A sky twinkling with stars. A walk by a gentle stream. A night of reading. A sunrise. A sunset.

We took a walk last night as a family and Josh said, "I haven't seen the stars in a while."
The stars haven't gone anywhere, Josh. We just haven't taken the time to notice.
I'd like to enjoy God's creation more with my kids. You can freely enjoy that anywhere.

Noah got pretty bored without his brothers and sisters, but what a special gift to us. A handful of memories of just him. Sliding down a slide. Riding a little bike. Reaching out just for us. He won't remember. It probably didn't mean that much to him. It was special for us.

The next time we will probably be alone with him will be when he's 15.
I wonder if he'll still want me to push him on the swing.

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