I knew I wanted to be a mother from the very beginning. It was never a question. The only real questions were when? and how many? As for the how many, the answer, since my early 20s, has always been six.
Being a mom is one of the hardest things that I do. And one of the most rewarding. At the end of a long day, after ushering them through camp and swimming lessons (and a full day of work), we go through the bath, dinner, story, bed routine. I fall into bed shortly after.
I referee. I administer band-aids. And hugs. And listen. And steer. And love. And laugh. Console. Advise. And beat my head against the wall. Not all necessarily in that order.
It’s a tough gig. As my fellow moms can attest. I want them to feel loved. And safe. And happy. Always and forever. And sometimes, through all that, it never seems enough.
I try to carve out one-on-one time with the kids on a monthly basis. I think they need that. A connection with me that doesn’t have to be shared. No interrupting. No talking over their siblings. No competing. Complete and unadulterated attention.
Madeline and I planned a date for this past weekend. Mystic’s daughter watched Nick (making this chicken parm), while Madeline and I escaped to dinner and a movie. She’s had a trying time with Nick the past week. She is patient to the nth degree, but had had enough. She had quietly voiced her opinions about it to both Mystic and I separately. My heart breaking as I listened to her words.
We both needed our Mom-and-me date.
She had asked if we could see Katy Perry’s new movie, Part of Me. I was a fan of hers before we saw the movie, and now even more so (equal parts heartbreaking, heartwarming, and inspiring). As we entered the theater, I scanned the seats – lots of moms and daughters out that night, too sweet.
Madeline chattered while we waited for the previews to start. Decided what she wanted to eat (we were at AMC’s Dine In Cinema). Asked if she could have Sprite. I don’t let the kids have soda often, but this was a special night. I wish I had captured her face when I said yes.
The littlest things make her soar.
If I could bottle her personality and spirit, I would market it mass wide.
Because it’s that awesome.
Chicken fingers. Apple slices. Sprite. Shared popcorn with Mom. 3-D glasses.
She definitely considered it a date, grabbing my hand halfway through and holding it for the rest of the movie. She climbed on my lap in the last few minutes, giving me a kiss on my cheek.
“Thank you for my date, Mommy. I love you to the sky and back.”
As we left the theater that night, she held my hand. Batteries recharged. Replenished. Fully.
When we got home, Nick was sleeping, so Madeline headed out to a neighboring town to catch some carnival fireworks with Mystic’s daughter.
A perfect night. For the most perfect four-year-old.
One-on-one time is a challenge to carve out sometimes, but I will move mountains to make sure the kids get it. They need it. I need it.
And right then, that very Saturday night, there was nothing more important.