I just told him in a minute.
It was this book, an old Arthur book from my older daughters, and he wanted me to read it to him. Caleb had asked twice already during the day and again last night right when I was making dinner. But, I was truly busy - I had ballet schedules to keep, dinner to make, a board meeting to attend, a review to write, and an email to respond to that was supposed to have been done yesterday.
In a minute, Caleb.
I kept moving. Finishing all I needed to do. The book? It just sat there on the old plaid couch next to the leaf pillow on a stack of books that were waiting to be read. It sat there till the next morning, this morning, when I sat down with a piping hot mug of coffee and my netbook and a quiet house with which to work. I looked over at the book, the well-worn and read book, and thought of that six year old sleeping upstairs waiting for the in a minute minute to come.
The minute never came yesterday.
I know you are busy. I get that frenzied and unending pace of things to do. We're constantly pushed to do more, create more, cook more, bake more, decorate more, teach more, organize more, garden more, host more, volunteer more, drive more, excel more, and ultimately to compare more. Us moms will see that massive to-do list, the never ending tasks, the schedule that is bursting without the empty days, the laundry spilling into the hallway, and the toys dumped out. No wonder we say in a minute.
For me it means stopping.
It means stepping off of the frenzied to-do list of today and sitting. It means hanging up the phone or closing the laptop and choosing to get down on their level, whatever level it may be, and looking them in the eye and listening to the questions that so often get the quick in a minute answers. Not the kind of listen that my kids have dealt with, you know, the mom, mom, mom, Mom cry where they're trying to get the distracted me to pay attention and listen.
It's hard. Often being a mother feels like living in a gigantic game of catch up. You'll get everything just so, just perfect, and then well, then someone puts socks in the laundry hamper, or the milk spills, or the phone rings, or the timer on the oven buzzes. Real stuff. Keeping us busy. All the time.
Don't let life, don't let the crazy pace of life, the unending cycle of busy rob you from the minutes with your family. Don't let the books that they want to read stay on the couch for days until the day when that old Arthur book never leaves the shelf because the six year old has grown and lost interest in the story.
Just watch the in a minutes. Or the just a seconds, waits, hold ons, and more.
It's progress. Not perfection. My husband reminded my six year old of that yesterday and then reminded me of it as well. Now, today, I'm reminding you, the in a minute mom, to remember those words of truth. Just keep trying, just keep watching those in a minutes - it's the being aware and watching the answers and working to do those in a minute things matters.
You really are doing a great job. It's progress. Just pick up the book and read it now.
That's what I did.
this post is part of an ongoing series of letters to moms. Other letters include - Dear overworked mom, dear overwhelmed mom Dear Moms with Littles, Dear Tired Mom, Dear Mom of the Little Boy with Celiac Disease. To receive daily updates please click Subscribe to finding joy.