I was not ill, that afternoon that I lay on the couch without regret. In fact, I felt energized. I had just completed a work project and felt momentum to keep moving.
It was 1pm, and I was driving home from lunch to put a bigger dent into my action-item list before my kids would be walking through the door from school. It was the last week of school and I knew I had limited time where I could depend on the school schedule for my work hours. I passed my youngest child’s preschool and looked at the clock. I had two more hours before he was done with school. Two hours of productivity. Two hours to make calls and check things off my list.
Before I knew it, something made me turn my car around and head back to his school. I wanted to cuddle with this baby child of mine. It was his last week of preschool. I promised him the previous week that we would have ‘Mommy and Lukey’ cuddle time, which is how we defined, relaxing together on the couch. He did not complain that we never got around to it that week. However, in the back of my mind, I craved some one-on-one time with my baby. I craved his hug, his smile and simply relaxing next to him. (And for the record, I love my older two children but at their ages, they just don’t cuddle like Luke does!)
As I flew through the preschool doors, I looked at the administrator and teacher and simply stated, “I am picking up Luke early today so we can have special time together this afternoon.”
“Good for you!” they replied! My five-year-old followed me to the car a little groggy from an interrupted rest time. I told him that this afternoon we were finally going to cuddle on the couch, watch a movie, and I did not have to work.
His eyes widened and a smile spread across his face. I silenced my phone, told him to get his comfy clothes on. He drew the blinds and turned on the TV to rent a movie…in the middle of the day. Embarrassingly, this was the first movie in a long time that I actually sat down and watched with him. I did not let any guilt about NOT being productive creep in. I knew this time was limited. Soon he would be off to full-day school, for the next 12+ years, and I would never regret lying on the couch with my son. He nestled next to me, and we enjoyed the 90-minute movie together. I was now relaxed and just happy. My five-year-old teaches me about living in the present moment and slowing down all the time and he doesn’t even know it.
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It is so difficult in this world, to slow down. Some days, it feels impossible to do so. We are bombarded with messages to do more, faster and better … as if that alone means success and should make us feel happy and fulfilled. However, nothing was more important than my laying down on the couch in the middle of the day with my child,
That afternoon, I decided to take a stand against the need to be in constant motion. I decided to cherish the blessing God gave me, one that I maybe even started to take for granted. My son, always near me, away available…but that afternoon, after ten years of motherhood I learned an important lesson:
When God gives you a gift, you must take the time to enjoy it. Do not wait for the perfect time, because you will always have other things on which to focus.
I invite you to consider: Do you take the time to enjoy your God given gifts? What might help you to allow yourself the time to pause, and earnestly take the time to fully appreciate the gifts He gives to us so freely?
Copyright 2016 Meg Bucaro
About the Author
As a college instructor, wife to “the Hubs”, Mom of three energetic children and a highly skilled PB&J sandwich maker, Meg shares the ups and downs of Motherhood in her candidly humorous writings and speaking programs. To learn more about how Moms can maintain a life with less stress and more peace by leaning on their Catholic faith, visit www.megbucaro.com.