"Mommy, can we go outside and blow bubbles?" My toddler's question interrupts my thoughts as I scurry through the hallway with a dustcloth in my hand. At first I feel slightly irritated by his innocent disruption. Then I pause for a moment to consider his request and think, "Why not?"
We've just spent an hour cleaning the living room and dining room. Well, I've been cleaning. My two-year old son, Craig, has been "helping" by taking books off the shelves, pulling puzzles out, and moving his toy vacuum cleaner across the floor. In spite of his help, I feel I've made some good progress this morning. As I wipe the sweat from my brow, I glance at the clock and think that maybe we could get the family room finished before lunch as well. It was at this moment that he made his bubble request.
Now, I'll admit I have a tendency to be a bit too goal-oriented. Four months ago, I left my frenzied management job to stay home with my two children. Although I'm thoroughly enjoying the extra time with the boys, I'm still adjusting to the different pace of life that being with children requires.
In fact, a chaotic pace of life was the main reason why my husband and I decided to make such a drastic change in our lives. We were sick of flying through weeks filled with daycare drop-offs, overstuffed calendars, and conflicting travel schedules. We wanted to slow down enough to actually enjoy our lives. I do enjoy the slower pace of our lives now, but the more ambitious side of my personality sometimes forgets this and takes over. I can easily become obsessed with crossing items off my to-do list, working around my kids instead of sitting still and enjoying them.
So, on this particular morning, when I looked down at my sweet child's face pleading with me, I consciously shifted gears and set down my dustcloth. "Sure, Craig. Let's go," I told him, as I watched his face brighten. I was glad to have made him happy but was still calculating how I could finish my chore list after we spent a few minutes blowing bubbles.
We stepped outside and I felt my mental state shift abruptly. A cool breeze brushed across my sweat-covered face. I inhaled deeply and admired the bright sunshine, as I wondered when the weather had changed without my realizing it.
We pulled a bottle of bubbles off the shelf and fished out two wands. Craig said, "You blow bubbles, Mommy. I catch them." I filled the wand and blew gently, over and over, until the air was filled with the delicate spheres. Craig squealed with delight as he ran after the bubbles. I sat down on the driveway and admired the way the sunlight created a unique array of pale colors on each bubble's surface. The beauty of the day and of my son's pure pleasure filled my soul.
We gradually moved from bubbles to tricycles and then plastic baseballs. These simple activities with my sweet child reminded me of an important lesson my sons have taught me before, that I sometimes forget. Once in awhile, I need to let my children take the lead, to leave behind my adult world of schedules and to-do's and just enjoy the sunshine.