September 16, 2011

Time for myself?

I awoke this morning to the sound of thunder. I only heard a few rumbles in the distance, but the mere sound was enough to make me feel safe and calm. Even if it hasn't rained at my house, it's somewhere in town. And just maybe, there will be at least one day where our firefighters can rest and we can all have a moment of relief where we don't have to worry about brush fires near our neighborhoods. Because for at least a day, the ground will be wet.

As much as I would like to sleep all morning on my days off from work and stay in bed until I absolutely have to get to, it's actually easier to get up. It's some of the only time that I have all to myself and I've realized that I need it. I wish I could have two hours in the morning all to myself every day that didn't include getting ready for work or driving in traffic to work. Something about being able to stay in my pajamas and slowly sip my coffee and just sit with my thoughts and feelings and whatever book or Bible studies I happen to be doing, give me a sense of readiness to take on the day.

I suppose every day should start like that, but they don't. So for Fridays at least, I try to make the most of my mornings. I get up early and enjoy the still and the quiet.

So here I am taking time for myself.


I wrote that earlier this morning. And then Tommy woke up and the day began. I tried to write what it was I set down to write and became frustrated because he wanted to "hold you" (what he says when he wants me to hold him) and climb up on my lap and scribble all over my bills that were laying out on the desk. And he wanted me to draw a happy face on his paper and come sit with him while he jumped on my bed. And I got frustrated because I still so desperately needed some time for myself. I haven't had any time to myself all week! I thought.

After I tried selfishly shooing him away and occupying him with Sesame Street or breakfast and he still just wanted me to be with him, he started to cry, and had hurt in his eyes. Whatever it was about his face and those particular tears, made me cry too.

"I just want you to spend time with me mom." That's what I read on his face. It was more than guilt that I felt inside. It was as if I was looking into a mirror and could both see myself and my husband's face as I saw his tears and sadness. Something about his face reminded me of my little girl and Todd's little boy and the places we had been missed.

I scooped that boy up and kissed his face and told him I was sorry.

While taking time for myself is important and what I need to refuel and refresh my heart, I still have to remain present for my son. I've come to realize that sometimes we can be really, really young when we start learning and believing the messages that we don't matter, or we're not important, or we're not worthy of someone's time. Those messages can go back to our earliest years of being demanding toddlers and still play out in our adult lives and show up with how we relate in our marriages and with our co-workers or friends. I'm talking from experience here.

I'm not going to do this mom thing perfectly I realize. I'm sure there will be hundreds of times over the years that I will just miss my son and he will be hurt by something I've done or not done. But this morning wasn't one of those times.

I guess the prayer of my heart is that I can be aware of myself and my son enough to minimize the negative messages that my son will learn from me. That I can own up to the places I gave him whatever messages he ends up believing. And that he will learn to battle them with the truth because it's what he has seen his mom and dad do.

It's time to get back to covering Teddy bears with smiley face stickers now.


  1. This post really crawled inside my heart today. In the best way. I think it's amazing how much we learn from our relationships with our spouses and our children. Sometimes I encounter someone I don't know very well or even a stranger and I feel for a second like I see that look on their face: "I'm not important enough," "I just want someone to talk to me, to spend time with me."

  2. I've been popping into your blog occasionaly via other blogs. I just want to say that I think you are incredibly brave, your honesty crushes a good way.
    This observation that it's quite likely our own childhood dismissal's contributes to our present day sense of inadequacies is very keen.
    I've raised my kids and I look back and shake my head at all the missed opportunities. There's so much I wish I knew then what I know now and one of the biggest things is that I wish I had of somehow or other in every interaction with them let them know how loved and valued they were. May your awakening awareness this morning set a standard for daily living.

  3. This is an amazing post. :)