Settled in the couch corner with my laptop and working through my to-do list — schedule Rachel’s orthodontist appointment, research a new Spanish curriculum for the girls, order the next violin book for —
“Mama, I just want to snuggle,” Prairie says, plopping down next to me and curling close. She chats about her hair, aerial silks, the dog, her sinus headache…
Back to my list — I search for mattresses which the boys will need for college next month —
“Mama, can you rub my shoulder right here. It hurts.” I move my computer from my lap and turn to dig my fingers deep into Lincoln’s muscle.
Next on my list — pay the credit card —
Rachel settles beside me without a word, waiting for me to look at her. I glance up, knowing I will see her smile, the one that says “I want you to pay attention to me but I don’t want to ask you to pay attention to me.” Her back is conveniently located within my hand’s reach. Just in case I should feel like giving her a scratch.
Soon after, I run up the stairs to change clothes. I have 5 minutes to get ready for a 3 o’clock meeting in town. “Mama,” says Sidney, catching me midway up the stairs, “I have a video to show you. I think it will make you smile.”
I think about my to-do list. I should start every day’s list with “Focused, in-the-moment, attention to each child.”
Lest I forget … while they do need me to be a responsible adult who pays the bills, schedules their dental needs, plan for their education … they need hugs, an attentive ear, massaging fingers, an interested eye, and a scratching hand more. They need all the things that say “Love.”
Or maybe my to-do list can be squashed to one word — mothering.