January 10, 2010 - 9:50 PM
It was dark, cold, and raining out; so what. I bundled up anyway with my family and we headed out for a walk. It is such a rare occasion when we can all be together without at least one of us being distracted. I wasn't doing homework, Brian wasn't doing homework, and Shae wasn't plugged into her iPod. So we went.
Within the first two minutes of the walk Shae was playfully teasing me about being so short. I have always told her she will never be taller than me. I know this is completely unrealistic when her dad is a foot taller than I am and at 9, she already reaches my chin. But I hold firm to my stance with her that she will never be taller than me. Oh and she certainly gave me an ear full tonight!
So I did what any loving parent would do. I refused to let her give me a hug after her teasing banter. She started chasing me and I ended up running around my husband in circles, making Mr. Bean noises and laughing as she tried desperately but could not seem to track or catch me in all of my dodging and turning.
I knew where we were headed on our walk. It was almost my baby girl's bedtime but almost out of habit we were headed straight for the neighborhood park. We all ran, walked, chased, and laughed our way to the park and ended up on the swings. There we were, playing in the rain. And an amazing thing happened. Shae started sharing all of the happenings of her little world. She has had so much weighing on her little mind lately and it has been obvious because she has been very removed and tuned out for a couple weeks now. I've asked her about this and let her know that I'm always there when she needs to talk. The problem is, with so much going on all the time, this isn't always true. I can't always help her with her homework or give an ear to all the stories about her friends and her daily life. It was fantastic to have all three of us together and connected like we were tonight.
Then like a dash we were off again. I was still an a battle with Shae over hugs and I ran all over the place with a nine year old running behind me frantically shouting, "I want a Huggie!" And she tried so hard too! We started on our way back to the house and Shae was stalking me, hiding behind trees and using Brian as a weapon to try and corner me for a hug. I made it all the way back to our back yard when she ran ahead of me and blocked my way to the stairs. Skillfully, I managed to still work my way around her and even made it in the front door before she completely tackled me with a giant hug. How fun!
Sadly, these moments are so rare for my family right now. I know that having all three of us in school and so involved in life it makes it difficult to have fun and be a family sometimes. I guess I am starting to think more and more about the positive aspects of being done with my program lately. I am sure the pendulum will swing back in the other direction and I will continue to mourn the anticipated loss of it, but for now, I am hopeful and almost longing for the end to come. I miss my family and I miss Shae's huggies. I want to be able to be a better Mom than just being there for making good meals, keeping the house clean, and giving bedtime kisses and hugs. I want to go on Mom-Daughter dates and talk about boys. I want to not be exhausted when it comes time for Brian and I to have some alone time together and have other things to talk about besides school. And I also want to have more of me available to have a baby. I'm looking forward to all that will come as I close this chapter of my life and move on to the next.