Having just nursed my little one to sleep, I snatch a moment to get a job done. Having just finished, I turn round, look up from my phone, and I see her, my beautiful daughter. She has crept into bed beside me and is whispering to her teddy to be quiet so he doesn’t wake up her baby brother.
As I look up, I see she is watching me, quietly, intently. I reach for my phone again, remembering one last thing for the online shop and I just catch it. A tiny sigh. I nearly missed it, a golden moment, an opportunity to connect with my dear one, this patient nearly four year old who is just waiting for her mama to be ready.
Tears come almost to overflowing as my mind flashes through the last 5 months since her brother arrived and all the lost moments with her. I almost can’t bear to be with it, the pain of that loss and the realisation that I have become all too often a “too busy” mum and an “in a minute” mum.
I know things have to be done, our home doesn’t run itself. But in this moment, when she has come in hope of how it was before, when she was the centre of my world, this moment is just for her.
As my eyes find hers, a devilish little smile creeps across her young face. It breaks into an eager grin as she realises I’ve put the phone down. She can hardly contain her glee as she whispers loudly “Can we play now mama, can we?” She glances anxiously at her brother as he stirs and my heart breaks a little. I utter a little prayer under my breath for him to sleep just a little while longer and we creep like co-conspirators from the room.
Today was a day full of little moments like these. Today, more often than not, I made the less busy choice. I chose to play, or to listen or to read the story. We built the Lego house, we stuck stickers, we baked shortbread we bathed the baby. The washing still got done, the dinner made, heck I even cleaned the loo, (long overdue) but it was together, me and my little shadow. It was easy, like the old days when it was just us two, and it gave me just a glimmer of hope that now there are 3 bears, we can live in harmony too.