“I call a do-over!”
Have you ever shouted those words? I have. Growing up in a neighborhood full of kids, it was not uncommon to have a small crowd gather in our front yard for a game of kickball or base ball. Beautiful summer evenings when the sun was beginning to slope below the clouds and the scorching heat was replaced with a comfortable warmth drawing kids with boundless energy out to play. Once the activity was chosen, bases were set, and teams were divided. . . it was game time. We would play until daylight disappeared and parents were calling their children in from the darkness. Inevitably, though, between our coming out and going in there would be a dispute over a particular judgment call. . .
He was safe. . . no he wasn’t. . . yes I was. . . nope, I saw it, you’re out.
It was never long before the afflicted player would exclaim the words, “I call a do-over!”
It was as simple as that. Problem solved.
There are days now when I wish I could just call a “do-over”. Days when I find myself getting short with a little toddler and pre-schooler. Days when I say “in a minute” about 500 times and realize that my kids understanding of a “minute” is going to be utterly skewed. Days when I am distracted, whether it be work-related, home-related, or just completely stuck in myself. . . and I miss opportunities to really be present in their lives. These are the days when I am just surviving and no where near thriving. Evening comes and I rush through stories, prayers and songs just to have some peace and quiet.
I enjoy the peace for a time and as I reflect on the day it doesn’t take long before I realize. . . ugh, I really missed it today.
Before I take the steps to my own bed I quietly open their doors for a peek. I peer through the mounds of stuffed animals they pile onto their beds and see their innocent faces. I watch their chests rise and fall with their breathing and I am brought back to reality. . . this is it. I reach and cover them up, give them a quick peck and tell both of them that I love them. And as I lay my head down on my pillow I silently think to myself. . . I want a do-over.
I’ve had a few of those days recently and today I was determined. . . today will not be a do-over day. And, I must say. . . it wasn’t. I drank it in. All of it. Every last moment. . . even the tough ones.
I was ready for them when they woke up and Chanelle provided quite an entrance this morning. When she came into the kitchen Charlie even broke into giggles as he exclaimed, “WOW!” We usually call her “Crazy Hair”, but this morning was exceptional.
After we tamed her mane the kids requested we take a trip to the library. I’m always game for getting new books and so we got dressed and ready to go. Nothing is ever that simple though. An argument between the two occurred and Charlie declared that he wasn’t going to the library. He was in the midst of a puzzle (his latest obsession) and he encouraged us to go ahead and he would see us when we return. (Where do they get this stuff?) I gently told him that he was, in fact, going to the library and we compromised that we would wait until his puzzle was complete.
This is his “I’m-mad-at-you-and-pouting-and-don’t-even-try-to-make-me-smile-because-there-is-no-chance-face”.
In my attempt to not allow the kids bad attitude to affect the atmosphere of the room and especially to prevent myself from acting like a pouting four year old (which I am prone to do at times), Chanelle and I chose to have some fun. It’s funny that when Charlie is pouting she loves to be on her best behavior and vice versa. . . they are smart ones. . .
|My little Mozart|
Off to the library we go. By this time the kids are happy. I truly enjoy going to the library and I long for my kids to love books as much as I do. So far. . . so good. .
I made her walk.
Once we made our way back home and Chanelle recovered from her hike we spent the afternoon together. Charlie really wanted us to watch him do puzzles and Chanelle wanted to lay on her bear and wanted to know, “do you have any stories in your mouth to tell me, Mommy?”
And that is what we did.
Today, though, I drank it in. . . every last bit of its preciousness. . . and tonight. . . I am not asking for a do-over.