By Laura Thurston, MOPS Council Coordinator
I have to admit, sometimes I dread hearing those words: “Play with me.” It means that I will be experiencing a strong sense of guilt if I don’t stop what I’m doing to get down on the floor and pretend to be fully engaged in the game of the day. But, by playing with my children, it means that I have to put something else on hold.
This spring, my son will be old enough to attend preschool. My initial reaction was excitement at the thought of being able to run errands with one less child in tow. But as I thought more about it, I became saddened. I was struck by the reality that my children are, slowly but surely, growing up and heading out into the world. The all-consuming demands of infancy and toddlerhood are starting to give way to a chatty little boy who wants to go places and do things with his friends instead of with mommy.
The days are long but the years are short when you have small children. Before you know it they are ready to move on to the next stage of life and they long for your encouragement and support as they venture out to try new things. It’s at these times when I have to admit that I really didn’t mind bringing a brigade of children with me on all my errands, and I’m glad I left the wet snowsuits dripping on the floor so we could make hot chocolate. I’m inspired to grab hold of those times to just be together.
Right now I’m thankful that my children are still small enough to fit on my lap. It’s hard to keep perspective when you are living amongst crumbs on the floor, random pacifiers on the stairs and half-chewed board books. At this stage of life you are just in survival mode, not necessarily thriving mode. But this ride will someday come to an end, so maybe today I’ll say yes to the request to “play with me, Mommy!”
Originally published by MOPS International (www.MOPS.org). Used with permission.