for the love of waiting……

“Well….this is different,” I thought. I’ve done this sort of thing before. But as usual with this third child, the experience seems familiar and foreign all at once. So it goes with an evolving person.

We were late to preschool this morning, but I decide not to get stressed out about it, like I sometimes do. What matters more than being on time is being together. This is Mom’s Morning, after all.

And at our preschool, Mom’s Morning is a special time for moms to be with their kids at preschool. Snapping at my son to hurry him up so I don’t look bad in front of all the other moms is no way to get that started. Instead, I immerse myself in the process of getting there rather than the result of being punctual.

The teachers have an art project all laid out for us. Picture frames. But of course Zachary has to stop in at the bathroom to wash hands before we get started.

Instead of coming with him to move things along, I stay outside and wait. I remind myself his independence is more important than my desire for control.

We eventually find a spot and Zachary gets going on the frame. Gluing treasures on pre-assembled, brightly painted popsicle sticks.

He doesn’t seem to need my input. He gets lost in his project. I watch as he maneuvers a dollop of glue onto a stick and carefully moves it over to his frame.

His hand hovers over the wooden containers on the table, lightly touching each of his options. Feathers. Buttons. Shells. Smooth glass rocks. He is considering. This is his creative process.

He repeats the steps with the occasional rogue string of glue landing on his hands somewhere. He tries to rub it off, but remains unsatisfied. He excuses himself to wash his hands. He does not like sticky fingers.

He comes back to the table and focuses back on his work. He is careful, thoughtful. I fall in love watching him.

The second time he gets up to wash his hands (particularly sticky glue), I notice from my seat that most of the other children are done with their project and have moved on to other activities.

I feel a shove from the old me to hurry Zachary along. God forbid we don’t keep the same pace as the others. Then someone would have to wait for us. Although really, would that be so bad? What treasure might they find? What might you?

zachary and the zoo

English: Bai Yun, a female Giant Panda at San ...

Image via Wikipedia

How could I have almost missed this moment? His eyes danced with the sun while they shined with joy and a sparkle that makes my insides go crazy. The skin on his cheeks looked rich as butter and flawless as porcelain. We were being taken up and away from life down on earth. For a few moments we hung in the air as the skyfari took us from one side of the World Famous San Diego Zoo to the other. And it was bliss.

And I realized in those moments how glad I was that I had made the time to be there with him. Just my youngest son and me. His older brothers and I did this much more frequently. But the more people in our family, the more practicality seems to necessarily out weigh fun.

But today I could hear the zoo calling us and I was willing to answer. So I left the dishes in the sink, the dirty clothes in the closet, the half written post on the computer, and the emails I am so far behind on in my inbox. I packed up a pbj and apple slices and off we went.

But I second-guessed myself the whole morning. Did I pick the right ball to juggle today? The elementary school had a short day that would cut our time at the zoo short, so maybe we shouldn’t go. The house has to get cleaned sometime, and today is house-cleaning day. I also have some writing I really need to get to.

And through the entire internal battle, I had this nagging feeling like I needed to take Zachary to the zoo. But my uncertainty in what to juggle this morning left me feeling a little like a failure at everything. And I was beating myself up on that skyfari for not being a better juggler.

However, even through that beating up, the moment of beauty and love imprinted itself on me and a few days later I could see it for what it was. A reminder that I am loved no matter how much I question myself or how poorly I juggle.