She padded into the kitchen, squinting and shielding her eyes, but I didn’t give her a chance to adjust to morning light. I swept her up into my arms and spun her around the room showering her with kisses and nuzzled her as we twirled.
As her eyes opened, so did her heart. She held on tight and squealed, “Hi mama!”
. . . . .
More than a decade ago, when children really weren’t on my mind, I learned what kind of mama I wanted to be, and what I needed to do to be her. I was on the treadmill at the gym, when I caught the tail end of a Toni Morrison interview on Oprah. (I avoided watching her show at the gym in the past lest I slip on my tears, but I’m glad I watched this episode.)
“When my children used to walk in the room, when they were little, I looked at them to see if they had buckled their trousers or if their hair was combed or if their socks were up,” Morrison explained.
And thus this concept became a core tenant of motherhood for me. I still struggle to override the militant side me that prefers to subject everyone around me to the mission at hand (she’s very good at getting stuff done). But I’m quickly reminded of the mama I want to be when I see the pictures I have taken of my family… you know the ones. The ones that I have done to help document how much I love my husband and my babies.
The photos above show me in “work mode”… they show me doing my thing. People. That is not fun. That is some serious green shake making.
And the photo below shows how I feel. Such a gigantic difference (the hug helps, too)!
It’s so easy to go through the motions and operating in work mode as we try to get our morning moving and our day started, but it’s serious work. We have tasks to do and places to dash off to. Our kids don’t. They’re connected to the moment and soak it all in.
We affect them. Our actions matters.
After my big, over the top morning greeting to my crazy kids, I have the rest of my day to work on my furrow line. For now, I hope my expressive show of love will set the tone for their day and they’ll head off to school knowing how dearly loved they are. Even if rush them to the school door. They’ll know.
P.S. While my morning routine still includes over-the-top enthusiastic greetings, my kids are a little bigger, and I can no longer easily traipse around the house with them in my arms. Instead, I dance around them and love on them just the same.