Each weekday morning is the same. It starts with the antagonizing alarm, and continues through the bustle of getting everyone up, dressed, fed, gathered, and out the door. Somehow we manage it all in under an hour and it’s very much like clockwork at this point, but oh so hectic. Ask me an hour later what we talked about as a family and beyond the orders to get dressed and the negotiations over what to have for breakfast, I can hardly recall.
Conversations are rushed and when they veer from necessity are mostly controlled by a six year old force of nature, whose mouth runs from the moment her eyes open until her last good-bye and I love you are hollered as she and her father rush out the door. All morning the little guy desperately tries to keep up but always winds up falling behind, or should I say in step. He even picks the vitamin color she tells him to.
After the door shuts and half of our family has left for the day, it is quiet. That is when he comes to sit by me, and that is when we share a lovely 15 minutes together each day before it is time for him to leave. It is sweet, and it is special, and I never could have foreseen that I would come to cherish this time as much as I do.
Every morning I take him to daycare, but before that we have 15 minutes of quiet time, just the two of us. We talk about various subjects and I can see it in his eyes that he finally has the time to formulate his thoughts, to truly think about what he wants to share, and to let me know just how much of this world he has come to understand.
My sister and I have five years between us, so even though I am the younger sibling I did not experience what is like to become a shadow. It took sharing these 15 minutes each day to make me realize just how much it is happening to my son, and beyond some bedtime cuddling just how little one on one time he was getting from me.
I cannot tell you how many times in a day I have to tell my older child let her brother speak, to give him the time to come up with the answers. What is 3 + 3? She knows, and it kills her to keep quiet. He knows too; he’s just not as quick yet and never has the time to blurt it out before she rattles off the answer.
This morning we talked about dinosaurs. I could have died from the cute as I watched his brow furrow while he shook his head and told me about how there are no more left; that they died a long time ago. Oh, these 15 minutes, just me and my son. What an interesting and funny little dude he is. Who would have thought this change in schedule that I was so dreading could turn out to be such a blessing?
In the blink of an eye the end of October came and we were all sick; my house a hopeless infestation of untold viruses. Yet somehow we managed to get through Halloween and still enjoy the little guy’s birthday.