“Go ahead, Baby. You read to Mama.”
I told my 3-year-old to go grab a book as we took a quiet moment on the front porch swing while the older kids were at school and the baby was napping.
I literally heard myself sigh as we sat down. It was probably the first sit-down I’d had in the last four or five hours.
I had my phone on my lap, and as my daughter began to tell me her version of the story as she scanned the pictures, I immediately thought, I’m just going to reply to a few emails and maybe scroll my news feed quickly.
And then as she turned the page, the tiny dimples in her hands caught my eye. Her little hand still seemed small enough for me to cup it in my own, and that made my heart feel full and begin to hurt at the same time.
How many more times will I have with her on this swing, just she and I, without the distractions of her siblings or our family’s chaotic schedule?
How many more times will I just be able to savor her, staring at her messy hair lying perfectly over her glistening forehead, looking more and more blonde from the sun?
How many more times will I get to rub those precious arms that still have some of that perfect baby chub on them, slightly tanned as we’d spent every last waking hour the past few days outside as she’d learned to ride her bike without training wheels?
How many more times will she find the nook, where she leaned into my side, seemingly having never found a spot so comfortable and safe at the same time?
How many more times will I be able to chuckle as I stare down at those painted nails done by her, as she insisted that she is a big girl and able to do it herself?
How many more times will I hear that heartwarming baby voice that pronounced so many words incorrectly, yet was able to make her point so effectively?
How many more times will I share with her, as she stopped to have us sit in silence to hear God’s birds chirping and then to flash me her million-dollar smile, saying, “You’re my best friend, Mommy!”?
I almost missed this, all of this, and I have to wonder about all of the “how many more”s that have passed by me.
Sometimes when we unplug, we need to—we must—totally disconnect and be fully in the moment.
It is true that some of the greatest tasks get accomplished when we are doing the least.