My mind was racing as bedtime approached, thoughts flooded my mind about how far behind I was with work and how many deadlines were fast approaching. “I never have any time to get things done during the day, and I don’t see how I will get caught up,” I mumbled to myself.
Lost in my thoughts and knowing that Daddy would be putting the kids to sleep, I audibly let out a big sigh when my son came into the room. Then I saw his face, tears welling up in his big brown eyes. His feelings were hurt, and though I knew I had a mountain of tasks waiting for my attention, I heard his heart’s cry, “Mama, stay with me a little while.”
I sat down in the rocking chair and beckoned him to come curl up in my lap.
He poured out his worries as I rocked, cuddled, kissed, and soothed his insecurities away. I waited until he let go first, to be sure he had received all the love and reassurance he needed, to be able to fall asleep in peace.
As I moved on from one bedroom to the next, I caught sight of my daughter sitting on her bed, waiting for me to tuck her in. A prayer, a kiss, some giggles and hugs later . . . I can see there’s something she isn’t telling me, and she’s building up her courage to speak up. Her eyes plead with me, “Mama, stay with me a little while.”
I know she’s growing up so fast and the words she wants to share don’t always come easily. I sense she needs to get something off her chest, so I wait and stay a little while.
The words finally flow like a river, “Mama, I’m worried I’m not a good enough girl . . . Mama, I’m worried she doesn’t like me . . . Mama, school is so hard.”
I see the value in staying, in waiting, in putting my work aside for a much deeper purpose—to raise children who feel acknowledged, to hear secrets they will only share with me, to heal hurts by reassuring them of their place in this world . . . their place in my world.
Work will always be there tomorrow. So, today . . . I will stay a little while.