My four year old has completely rocked the transition from only child to big sister. She loves her little sister and hasn’t seemed jealous of having to share mom’s attention at all, and is often content to entertain herself for periods of time now.
I think I got so used to her demanding my attention that it never occurred to me a time would come when she wouldn’t always ask for it. But that doesn’t mean she doesn’t still need it.
The evenings are busy. So are the days for that matter. And don’t even get me started on the mornings. We hit the ground running to get everyone fed and dressed and delivered to preschool on time. Evenings mean laundry to fold and dishes to do. Most evenings are like this but Wednesday’s in particular are busy. We have gymnastics in another town so by the time we get home it’s dinner time and everyone is exhausted. We have started the tradition of making that movie night: we shower before dinner and then snuggle on the couch and eat pizza and watch a movie. It helps everyone wind down before bed.
This last week I noticed how hard it has gotten to just sit down and uphold this tradition. When we get home now, in addition to bathing and feeding the oldest, I have to bathe and feed the little one, pump, and then cleanup the dinner dishes and sterilize bottles, and so on and so on. I was rolling through the motions when I realized I was missing one of the few times I actually set aside time to sit down and hold my oldest. My heart broke a little. Because I know better. The to do list can wait. She is what matters most. Sitting next to her and watching “Frozen” for the billionth time just so I can feel her small head on my chest for as long as she is willing to put it there.
There will always be laundry and dishes and bills and housework. But I only get these small, precious humans for a little while. I can’t even think about how much I’m going to miss these days when they’re gone because it already brings tears to my eyes. This is what matters. They are what matters. Snuggle dates on the couch and sitting next to her bed while she falls asleep and letting her crawl in between us in the mornings and playing my little ponies all day long. Anything that means I get to be present. With her. That’s the only work that matters.