Taking a little time each day just to be present with the kids. No worrying about the next moment or thinking about the last. I am just being with them- available to them.
Getting outside helps me. Away from all the distractions indoors I feel like I can really listen to them. I can really answer them. I can really be wholehearted with them.
Being a real "thinker" this takes a conscious choice on my part. It is also not of my nature to do one thing at a time. I don't really enjoy just sitting around for very long (okay maybe every now and then). I have to tell myself, "okay don't go anywhere, stay on track, we are right here now." Oh my that sounds quacky. I suppose with practice it will get easier for me, but for now- I struggle a bit.
Our little nature walks have been wonderful opportunities for this time together. We have been going down by the river to explore. I try to not rush them along, but instead let them dawdle and wander. I don't bring a book, or a knitting project and only answer my cell phone if I am on call.
At first, my intention was that these devoted moments would benefit the children. That this time would be me giving and them taking. It turns out that this could not be further from the truth.
I have come to appreciate the way they see the world around them, the way the notice the tiniest intricacies in creation. (Look closely above and you'll see the ant trail that Hannah discovered.) Their thoughts are valuable and analytical. They make new discoveries and deep connections minute by minute.
They are little people with big hearts and very real emotions. They are my children and I their mother. I have cared for them. I have prayed for them. I have loved them...but now it seems I am really getting to know them. I am sure that this relationship building can be attributed to the fact that they are getting better at articulating themselves, and that we are less hurried with school being out. But mostly I think that it has everything to do with me just making a simple (or not so simple) choice to be present. It feels nice.
(so sick of technical issues with typepad. am I the only one losing posts? it is so slow now, and the photo spacing is horrible- no wrapping! UGH!)