How many precious moments did I miss, I wonder? Years ago when my children were shorter than me, I had a post-vacation revelation. My husband had planned a fun trip up the coast on Highway 1 in California. We saw the sights and everyone got home alive and in one piece. After we returned I realized and said to myself, “That was a fun trip – I wish I had enjoyed it.” That’s when I saw what I was missing. I was spending too much effort and energy on the details and missing the precious moments.
As moms juggling so many responsibilities it is easy to miss precious moments when our mind is going a mile a minute attempting to make sure everyone in our care stays alive and is fed, dressed, and protected.
It’s also easy to be in the vicinity of those we love, but not “be there”. I cherish this quote by the martyred missionary, Jim Elliot: Wherever you are, be all there. This was a struggle for me…
I’m a detail person while my husband is a big picture person. On a visit to Sea World when our older boys were young, as we entered the park I went straight for the map while my guys went to the bathroom. I poured over the schedule and had our day all planned out when they returned. I began to share my plan when my husband told me if I would throw the map away and just follow him we would have fun. I asked him if I could just hold onto it for reference! I am so thankful for a husband who kept life fun and drew me out of my concern for details.
I can’t say it any better than the following poem I leave you with to ponder and keep in your heart:
“Babies Don’t Keep”
Mother, O Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing, make up the bed,
Sew on a button and butter the bread.
Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She’s up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.
Oh, I’ve grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue,
Lullabye, rockabye, lullabye loo.
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo
The shopping’s not done and there’s nothing for stew
And out in the yard there’s a hullabaloo
But I’m playing Kanga and this is my Roo
Look! Aren’t his eyes the most wonderful hue?
Lullabye, rockaby lullabye loo.
The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow
But children grow up as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs; Dust go to sleep!
I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.
Author: Ruth Hulburt Hamilton