Sunday, November 13, 2016

Filling White Spaces

There is a tendency as the week progresses, for activities to fill up our weekend. I use a paper planner, and by Thursday the weekend squares are usually filled with dinner plans, gymnastics classes, birthday parties, get-togethers and housecleaning. This visual filling of the little white boxes serves as an alarm system for me. Warning: your days are jam-packed. The philosophy of the weekend, a time of rest and rejuvenation, becomes obscured by FOMO (that's fear of missing out). Busy weekends plus busy weekdays equal tired out family members whose needs become expressed in tantrums and crankiness.

This weekend was shaping up to be busy. I quickly saw our mornings and afternoons claimed by plans. These plans all looked lovely, fun and enjoyable. I am glad we made them. In the balancing act of motherhood, I knew we also needed unstructured time, connecting time and rest time. I said no to a couple of things, because my mama heart knew the girls and I needed time together. The best way to show my girls I love them is to give them my time. In that time, I am available to them, body and spirit.

With so much time apart during the school week, we needed to be together without distractions or errands. This isn't always obvious. I notice Robin following me as I dress and brush my teeth in the morning, because she just wants to be near me before she spends a day at school. I hear Abby ask me to stay longer after tucking her in, so she can have me to herself. I sense the tension levels rise when they are left to "play together nicely" as I clean and fix things around the house. This is when I am called to remember that to these girls, I am their mama. I am their sun. I am the director of the show, at least a little while longer, until they have plans of their own.

We had a nice hot bath after dinner Saturday, got into our jammies, watched a movie, and cuddled before I tucked them all in to bed. Sunday afternoon, instead of going for my usual long run and shopping for groceries, we visited a friend's new home and gorgeous country property for some exploring. The unbridled freedom to adventure together in uncharted territory was rejuvenating. The historically unpredictable November forecast treated us to a sweater-weather afternoon under sunny skies. We had free reign of a creek running through our friend's forested property. We hiked upstream to a waterfall hidden away from any other human visitors. We climbed apple trees and ate fruits that clung to branches through weeks of frost; a sweet reward. 

The side effect to so much time spent active in cool, autumn air is tired bodies. Our eyes will close and we will fall asleep as soon as our heads hit the pillow. What a gift, this kind of sleep. We will wake Monday morning rested and restored, in all manners. Our bodies will be stronger and our stores replenished. Our hearts will be full of loving cuddles, shared memories and the feeling that we are all important enough to each other to make time. They will know, I hope, that they are important, they are worthy, and they are capable. 

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