The last few weeks I’ve had the inestimable pleasure of caring for these sweet girls
since, their mother just had a baby. Have I mentioned Kit had a baby? Would you like to see a photo? 😉
Ryn and Elle have visited us here and there, an afternoon or a morning, never quite long enough– they always leave just when we’re about to make cookies. Wrapping her tiny arms around my neck Elle sighs, “Love you, Mi-sell.” and more than once Ryn has been so excited to see me that she trips over her own feet and into my arms. They are, quite simply, delicious.
But, I’ve been staggered by the sheer amount of attention that little people require. Wasn’t I in this stage just a few years ago? And now I do bold things like shower or go to the grocery store by myself without recognizing the sheer luxury of my situation. Toddlers need something every minute– a drink, a snack, a kiss, a game, a snuggle– and if they’re quiet you can be sure that kitty food is being spread around the mudroom or your books are being methodically removed from the shelves. At the mall, they have an innate need to hide under clothing racks and lovingly handle the wares at every mall kiosk.
Please, don’t misunderstand me. I consider time with little ones a privilege– their laughter, spontaneous twirling and trusting eyes are more than enough compensation for a few diapers and unfinished projects. Yet, I can’t help but think we need to offer mothers of young children more credit, more help, more compassion. And I wonder why I was so hard on myself with my house full of babies? Why did I think I needed to volunteer at school and church and take dinner to a neighbor when I was already providing so much service at home?
Utah is a baby culture. Like parents everywhere we cherish our children and work for their future. But, since there are so many babies here and since we all know someone who has more children and writes books and manages a business and occasionally appears on the Today Show, almost every mother I know feels like she should be doing more.
And yet, the beauty, the good life, comes in an afternoon on the floor with books and puzzles scattered all about and a baby sleeping on your shoulder. Yes, the laundry and the grocery shopping must be done and yes, every mother should take time to pursue a personal passion, but so so many other things can wait. Sleep in a bit, kiss those little toes, let everyone else run the world– you’ve got better things to do.