Tonight was similar to many nights in the Smith household. By the time dinner was done, kids had gone through their bedtime routine of jammies on, teeth brushed, stories read, fans and nightlights going... I am feeling completely and utterly exhausted. Tonight was no exception. I just wanted to sit down. No more questions, no more "Can I?"... "Mommy, will you?"... "Please may we?"... My back was aching, my mind was fried, and I just needed ME time. After putting my girls BACK in their beds for now the fifth time I was about ready to loose my cool. Tucking Samuel quickly in bed, he asked me to tell him a story-ANY story. I sighed a heavy sigh, thought of a quick story from when I was a kid and condensed it down to about 10 seconds. I told him that was the end, and he needed to go to bed- NOW. In that moment, my little 6 1/2 year old boy looked up at me with eyes that spoke a thousand words. He quietly said, "I bet if I was there in your story, there would have been more..." I quickly told him something along the lines of "I love you Samuel, but I have to get Katelyn back in her bed (again!), and I am doing the best I can tonight..." He quietly said OK, and turned his body toward the wall and snuggled down under his covers. I left his room, feeling defeated, yet still needing to get things done. I put Katelyn back in her bed, gave Serenity yet another hug and kiss, and headed toward the living room. I immediately sank down into my comfy chair and sighed a big sigh of relief.... Peace at last! Closing my eyes for only a split second, I started to re-play Samuel's request in my mind, and all I could see were those little boy eyes starring up at me. Sighing a heavy sigh yet again, only this time for a completely different reason, I immediately got up out of my comfy chair (well, it actually took quite a bit of effort being 8 months pregnant and all...) :) and made my way back to Samuel's room. I opened his door slowly, tip-toed across his room and crawled in beside my little boy. He looked completely surprised and relieved and happy to see me all at the same time. I spent the next several minutes telling him story after story after story of when I was a little girl. We LAUGHED. He asked me a hundred questions and finally looked up at me, gave me a kiss on my cheek and said, "You are just the best mom in the entire world".
And to think I almost gave up that moment because I needed some "me time".
May I NEVER forget that tomorrow may not come. That the little 2 year old becomes the 4 year old, and the 4 year old becomes the 6 year old and soon that little 6 year old will become a grown man....
My mind WILL be fried. My body WILL be exhausted. I WILL feel like crying and shouting and giving up. This is all a part of having the hardest job in the world- being a mommy!
However, I won't get these moments back. Someday I WILL have a quiet, empty house, and I will wonder why I didn't take the time to tell more stories. Give more hugs. Answer more questions.
I will forever hold tonight's memory in my heart.
I will choose to remember and remind myself of this often... "These days are long, some days they feel like they will last forever... but these years, they are way too short."
So when you are feeling like you just can't go another minute... remember, this may be a moment your little 6 year old looks up at you and tells you "you are the best mom in the entire world" - and that my friends, is worth more than ANY amount of "me time" you could ever get. <3