“One summer when my kids were small, they all conspired for my time every second of every day.
I remember feeling so overwhelmed. It was so hard to focus on each individual soul when 5 of them hovered in my orbit near constantly, telling elaborate stories and demanding, ‘Mom, look at me!’ (For the love of all that is good and holy I swear I am looking.) And they just needed food at all hours and band-aids for invisible ouchies and just so much attention.
It quite frankly might have the beginning of me hiding in the closet. But I knew they needed me, so I came out and we devised a plan.
After dinner each night (and before that magical moment known as bedtime) I would go sit under the stars on the deck with a blanket.
And one by one each would come out to chat with me. We would set the timer for just 10 minutes while inside my husband kept the circus going.
Outside undivided attention was there for them in the quiet.
They’d slip out the sliding door in their jammies and I’d lift the blanket and the child whose turn it was would snuggle next to me and just talk and I’d listen.
Or we’d look at the stars, maybe sing a little twinkle twinkle with the two-year-old (which she pronounced tinkle tinkle and oh my heart), I’d listen to the boy talk about LEGO creations and Nerf and hear the ins and outs of all the friendships of the girls.
I don’t remember the contents of most of these conversations. I do remember there were hurts shared and good things celebrated. I remember feeling like time slowed a bit. I remember my quiet boy not even pausing for breath in those 10 minutes he had so much to say,
I remember knowing it was going so fast, yet I couldn’t imagine a day when my house wasn’t filled with littles and their every need.
I now only wish I had it all on film to sit back and watch and wonder at. Younger me with younger them frozen in time.
Those talks became a part of us. They are knitted into the fabric of our family in a way that is better than any home movie could be.
We listen…and they become kids who tell us things.
My tall people have so much to say.
We make the time for them…and they become kids who make time for us.
Our family still gathers on the regular, even the tall ones coming out at night.
We pour our love into them…and they become loved people.
And well-loved people can love people well.
No small moment with our babies is ever wasted.
Take a moment to leave the work and the weariness behind and sit under the stars. You’ll be knitting together a fabric that will hold your family for years and years to come.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Hiding in the Closet with Coffee by Amy Betters-Midtvedt. Follow Amy on Instagram here. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
Read more from Amy here:
‘Today I wore a mask to Target with lipstick underneath. It’s automatic, and I keep forgetting about the mask.’: Woman says she is wearing a mask to protect others, ‘It is not living in fear, it is siding with science’
‘They used to line up to watch me leave. ‘Don’t forget to beep and wave!’ they’d yell, 5 little faces pressed up against the glass.’: Mom realizes she’s now alone as it’s her children who are leaving
‘He’s the kid who never listens the first time. Or even the tenth. His heart breaks because he’s not always sure why what he’s doing is so wrong. But he needs you to hear him.’
‘5 kids? You know how this happens, don’t you? Did you have all 5 on purpose?’: Mother of 5 children says despite the struggles, ‘these kids still run to hug me when I get home’
‘This is what your knight in shining armor looks like in your 40s.’
Do you know someone who could benefit from this story? SHARE on Facebook or Twitter.