As Calvin frantically swatted at his nose no longer able to breathe freely, I pondered my own selfishness. Here is my child, helpless and lacking the knowledge to be able to blow his own nose, yet I am irritated at the interruption to my evening. Thinking only of how we just got him on a secure sleeping routine and now this – the proverbial loose thread that could lead to its unraveling.
Oh woe. is. ME.
Meanwhile, sweet baby boy just wants to breathe again. He doesn’t ask much. And he would sleep if he could. But last night it just wasn’t that simple.
Isn’t it funny how the struggles of my own children somehow put me out? When will I learn that parenting is full of sacrifice and it will always be a labor of love? That my needs and wants are secondary right now and that’s ok?
I don’t know that I will ever learn it. But I am trying.
Sometimes all it takes is eye contact. I remember when it was just Oscar and me all day long. I made it a priority to speak to him, not just as a child who needs to be told what to do, but a little individual. He responds much better to me when I am on his level and I wanted to show him that I respect him as a person by giving him my full attention and thus my eye contact when speaking to him.
These days I feel like I am yelling over my shoulder, feeding Calvin while barking orders to Oscar to stop crashing his bus into his zoo, glancing only briefly to make sure he hasn’t broken anything. My attention span is short and my own willingness to sit down and be present seems to be dwindling.
I knew it was coming. As Calvin grows he will demand more of me, which means not less of me for Oscar, but less for me. Me me me. I am a warden of my ‘me-time’ and I feel that it’s time to loosen my grip. Ugh.
Don’t get me wrong, I am no martyr. I know I will still have moments to spare. I just also know that I will always want more. Sacrifice is hard no matter how you slice it. Labor of love, yes. But labor nonetheless.
But in those moments when I do manage to stop everything and get down on Oscar’s level or lay on the floor with Calvin and they look me right in the eye, I realize that I am not granting them my eye contact, but they are saying I love you mama no matter what.
At that moment, all is right with the world and I can honestly say, what me time?