On a lark, I found myself with just my spunky little lady this weekend. Tom had a basketball tournament to tote some children to and at the last minute my boys decided to tag along (I’m still amazed that we are in the stage of parenting where we can decide to do things last minute and my children can go on work-ish trips. Dear young moms everywhere, this happens.).
We decided to make it a day where no sporting event of any kind was watched on television. I don’t mind it so much, but my girl has strong aversions. She’s got a long life ahead of her at home. Sunday afternoon football is something we DO complete with picking sides, fist bumping, boy yells and a little wrestling thrown in just because.
I had a grand plan of going to cheer on a friend and then strolling our city’s farmer’s market for lunch. Then, my car wouldn’t start and by the time our neighbor came over to help and we determined it was the battery, we needed to adjust. Instead, we got the car fixed and decided to spend the rest of the day at home–something we both love as introverts and homebodies.
She painted tiny pinecones and I didn’t even say no when she wanted to mix up purple paint and got blue all over the kitchen. We made chocolate cupcakes and watched a favorite movie and went for a bike ride (after arguing over who could operate the tire pump better). She looked at me as we looped around the traffic circle one more time and rasped in her low voice, “Can you believe we have the whole day together?”
I want to be a mother who knows her children. And I want them to know that I know them. I want to notice what they love and show up where they want to be and be willing to be uncomfortable for them. I want to guide them, yes, and challenge them and teach them but I want them to know that all of that grows out of the fact that I know them and I love them always and anyway.
That kind of mothering can be stewarded in a million different ways. Sometimes I get overwhelmed by the fact that I might be doing too little and I might be doing too much. My motherhood doesn’t look exactly the same. But. This weekend was a reminder that being who I am and letting her be who she is and doing it together can happen in the smallest of ways and it’s good and enough.