Apr 3, 2009

A Novel Idea

4/03/2009 — cori
You would think that because I homeschool I spend oodles amount of time with my children. And in theory, that is correct. But it is not the type of time that matters I have come to find out. You see, when I'm schooling, I'm more objective oriented, purpose driven, always looking to the next task that needs completing. I have to be expert at juggling my normal home responsibilities with school/education needs of my children. Multitasking is the name of the game.

In the early years, when the kids were all little, it wasn't such a big deal. We played much more than we worked. We still enjoyed each other's time. But as they've grown, my play time with them has shrunk. It is a constant battle I struggle with. I feel that I give them myself all day long...how can they expect me to play with them in the afternoon when I HAVE to get dinner ready, cleaning done, or any of a gajillion other things that I had hoped to do in the small 2 hour time slot I have available before dinnertime?

It hasn't helped with the whole moving thing. First there was a whole house to pack, then a whole house to unpack and decorate. Needless to say, my mind has been on many other things for a long time. I hadn't realized how much I had not been giving my time to the kids. And they only want me...not my agenda, not teacher, not the 5 minutes I give them as I rush back and forth between each of their needs. They wanted me, whole-heartedly just giving them attention and being with them.

So, yesterday I made an announcement at breakfast that each one of them would get a whole hour with Mommy today to do whatever they wanted to do with me. They would have my undivided attention. I would willingly go along with any plan (if you know me, you know that's hard for me). We drew names to find out the order. Gavin got first, Chloe second and Bennett last (each the way they had originally hoped it would be).

This is the fun part of it all, finding out what it was they were hoping to do with me. I can't tell you how much fun I had - it was a blast! It brought back memories of simpler times. Times when I didn't let a schedule dictate our day, when I cherished the time I had with them instead of thought of all things I still needed to get done in a day and wondered when I'd finally get "my time". How had I fallen so far from my 'first love'? It broke my heart that they were thrilled with a single hour of my time.

My time with Gavin began with my reading to him. We have been reading "Alice In Wonderland" (an extremely weird book, might I add...the author must have been on something...it makes NO sense!). But Gavin loves this book because of his love of all things fantasy, so its right up his alley. Then he read to me...a book called, "The Sign of the Beaver" which I thoroughly enjoy. After that, we built a model airplane together (something I didn't know I could do). He was so content. He got all his schoolwork done after that without complaint.

Next was Chloe. She LOVES any chance she gets at 'being in charge'. First we played 'make-up store' and then you're supposed to walk over to the 'hair-dresser store' after you get your make up done. After we were beautiful, we played mommy and daughter (obviously with the roles reversed). We got all her teddys and dolls all dressed up and brought them to 'church'. Me and the babies got to sit on her bed, while she stood and read to us from the Bible. I was allowed to ask questions as long as I raised my hand. It was precious.

Finally it was my time with Bennett. He's very physical, so I knew I'd be doing something that didn't involve sitting down. Of course he picked playing basketball. So we went outside in the 40 mile and hour winds on a 50 degree day with the threat of a thunderstorm looming perilously overhead. It was a challenge trying to throw the ball against the wind. But surprisingly, I actually won the game of "around the world". Bennett was a good sport about it. Then we came inside and built a pirate ship he had. Another 'hard to do' thing..but super fun.

Bennett even sent me an email thanking me for our special time. He even sang me a special 'i love mommy song' as well as lavished me with many accolades about being 'the best mom ever' the rest of the day. My heart was so full.

I was so refreshed by time with each of my favorite people. I vowed to do it each week. I will not let the busyness of life, the demands of life or the demands of each day get in the way of cultivating time with my children. What a wonderful lesson I learned yesterday.

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