My seven-year-old ran towards me, wrapped me in her arms, and exclaimed, “I love when I get to be with you all day!”
I paused where I stood in the middle of the kitchen. It was about 4:30 in the afternoon, and I quickly replayed our Tuesday. We hadn’t done anything “special.” No picnic, playground, or other outing; no craft, baking project, or game played.
Just the normal stuff (for us). A morning wake-up call and hug. Family meals around the table. Math and grammar lessons. A cuddle on the couch while reading about mammals for science.
It had been a home day. She was right, we had been together all day…and I felt it.
I felt the cumulative effect of being “on” since my toddler had woken at 6:00 a.m.: meals, schooling, phone calls to the pediatrician, and a potty accident to clean up. Because I felt it, I was ready to leave the house for a jog (even in the rain) when my daughter’s pure pleasure caught me off-guard.
I asked some questions, teasing out her thoughts. But that was really the heart of it. In her mind, this was a good day because she got to be with me – her mother – all day.
Even though we didn’t do anything “special.”
Even though lunch was late.
Even though I hadn’t showered all day.
Even though my head spun in more directions than I could count.
And during my jog, I kept thinking, “Don’t underestimate the value of your presence with your children.”
Not all children will express their appreciation the way my daughter did today (I can’t remember her older brothers saying it this way), but our presence matters. Our children feel it. Normal, routine days spent together communicate security and love. Her words reminded me of this.
So much of motherhood is about presence, not performance. It’s about being present with and for our children in a thousand moments that make up their early years and beyond.
So much happens behind the scenes on these home days. And I want to delight in my children and be just as grateful for our time together as my daughter is!
To think about: “And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers” (Malachi 4:6).
We may run to our heavenly Father with unrestrained joy and gratitude, expressing how much we love him and appreciate his presence with us each day.