A friend of mine mentioned recently how much easier it is to put her daughter to bed when she is actually just putting her daughter to bed. You know, rather than mentally doing the dishes and cleaning the kitchen and planning the next day’s activities and wondering when she’s going to be able to visit that friend who just had a baby or how on earth she’s going get from here to there while hitting all the in-between places as well.
I’ve noticed the same thing. And it’s not just because the Manchild is going to drive me crazy when he isn’t getting the attention he wants. He knows when my mind isn’t where it should be, which is obviously where he is, and he’s not afraid to get up in my face and redirect my eyes towards him if he has to. He’ll tell me to put down the laptop, and close the laptop, and walk away from the laptop because I am clearly not sure what, “Please, Mom, put down the computer,” means.
You know, it’s easier to put kids to bed when you are actually there, putting kids to bed, because reading stories and singing songs and chasing freshly bathed, naked babies down with a new diaper and clean pajamas is actually fun, when you think about it. It’s when you don’t think about it that it becomes a burden.
Am I right?
When I think about the weeks of training we have left, about each morning I have to get up early, it makes it really hard to hear myself read bedtime stories to the boys. I’ll miss a really great story because I’m thinking about speed workouts and easy runs and the miles my legs may or may not accumulate over the next several weeks.
And when I think about the endless meal planning, the laundry that builds up to the bursting point, the bathtub that never seems to get scrubbed, it’s hard to hear Manchild tell me all his funny jokes, like about how he wants to have a house with a bridge over the street so he can live on the even and the odd side of the street. Wouldn’t that be silly?
Or when I think about how many more miles I have to run, or where I’ll be when I finish, or how long it might take me to run each mile, it really isn’t any fun. But I can enjoy it if I just experience the run and immerse myself in it. Because it’s actually delightful to catch snatches of other runners’ conversation or to notice the smiles on people’s faces when they realize that they got to watch that kid ride her bike for the first time.
The boys are in bed now and have been for a while. But I think it’s time for me to put down the computer, close it, and walk away.