Friday, September 18, 2009

The Best of Me

This week started the same as many others. A race to keep up with work and home. A balancing act between pleasing my employer and enjoying my husband and children. Somehow fitting football practice for our middle boy into the already cramped evening schedule. Finishing homework in time for supper, baths and maybe a little tv time. Helping a teenager with homework that doesn't look anything like what I did in high school. The house always needs cleaning. And, all the time, I'm feeling like there is something I've forgotten to do or someone I didn't give enough attention.

Have I given each person the best of me?

I'm in a hurry ... pretty much all the time. I work a forty hour week and I have three boys. Between work and keeping up with all our schedules, there is little time in between for quiet or slow time. My husband wants me to stop and sit with him for just a little while. The boys want me to read a book before bedtime. I say no to both because there is housework to do and there are clothes to get ready for the next day.
Who is getting the best of me?
This week, I took a few days off work. This morning, I drove the boys to school. I don't get to do that very often. I'm generally at work by the time my husband pulls into the school parking lot to send the boys off for school.
First stop, the high school to drop off our oldest boy. I think he's grown a foot in the past few weeks. He knows I love him but I say it one last time before he leaves the car. I watch him until he's inside the doors. Then, I pull away for the second stop ... the elementary school for our younger boys. We were a little early, so I parked and waited for a few minutes.
That's when I found it. The best of me. The me I was looking for at the beginning of the week. I planned out my vacation days. I needed some "me time." I had been feeling spent at work and the vacation days were an effort to "fill up." I needed something to help me focus, something to let me know this crazy race is worth every step and breath.
In that moment, my youngest boy asked to move up to the front and sit on my lap. Our middle boy was in the passenger seat and for the first time ... in a long time ... I said "yes." I'm usually in too big of a hurry to stop and let them in the front. Today, what would it hurt? He crawled over the armrest, laughing. We turned up the radio and pulled down the sun visors. Country music spilled out of the speakers and we started making silly faces in the visor mirrors.
My boys ran into school ... laughing and smiling. They turned back long enough to yell ... "love you, mom!" And, in their smiles, I saw the best of me.
The best of me is ... the mommy who takes time to be silly, the wife that stops to sit and talk, the child of God who slows down long enough to enjoy the life He's given me.
Are you busy? Do you find yourself going so fast you can't keep up? That was me at the beginning of the week. Trust me, slow down. If you do, you'll find out ... the house will get clean later, the clothes will get washed and put away later, so what if the kids don't go to bed at a set time every night ...
The best of me has been there, right in front of my eyes. All I needed to do was slow down long enough to see it.

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