A lot of my daily life and work as a mother revolves around the physical care of my family. With five kids, this means a lot of laundry, cooking, and cleaning. I love seeing my children grow older. They pitch in a lot more. But with their growth, we are often vulnerable to outside demands dictating our schedules. Getting to school on time dictates a pretty specific routine. The after-school routine is equally specific. In order to get everything done in time for bedtime (so the kids can function the next day), things have to happen in a certain way. While I do appreciate the outside structure, sometimes I find that I forget to take those moments to reconnect with my kids in meaningful ways.
This was brought home to me tonight when I arrived home after an evening with my friends. My toddler man was still up and immediately ran over to me. I was overwhelmed by his need to reconnect with me. He hugged me tight. When I went to check on some things, he followed me, insisting on sitting on my lap. Eventually, I realized that his need to reconnect had to be met and so I stopped what I was doing. What followed just melted my heart. He pressed his forehead to mine, quietly looking at me. I stroked his baby-sweet soft cheek. It was just a quiet moment of mother/baby nuzzling. No words were said, just a moment to physically reconnect. As soon as he had enough, he gave me a cute kiss and then was ready for bed. And that was that.
With babies and toddlers, it is pretty easy and natural to reconnect, but I have a tendency to rush that need with my older kids. I need to remember that they need moments with more hugging and less talking on my part!