It was one of those mornings: the kids woke up demanding and needy, with a side of rude. They didn't want their breakfasts or to get dressed, they only wanted to annoy each other and irritate us with their inability to follow directions. You know, the usual. I gave up midway in dressing Brady, pants on and shirt off, and said, "That's it. I'm going to work." He burst into tears and said, "No! I don't want you to ever go to work. You'll be there forever and never come back." He blocked my way, and no amount of hugs, pleading, or bargaining would stop the tears. I had to walk out to my car to the sound of screams and John closing the door so Brady couldn't follow me. At work, I got a call from a sad little boy who said, "I miss you, Mommy."
In the moment, it's hard for me to realize that their love for us is what makes them cling so tightly, to act out as an attempt to clamor for our attention. It's hard to remember that the six hours I will be gone is like an eternity to them, and in the time I am home, much of it is consumed with the work of taking care of a house and two kids. Instead of counting down the days until school commences, I should be enjoying every sacred day of summer with my kids while they still cherish my time. It's easy to remember when the guilt is nearly suffocating. Maybe I'll learn to remember it when the frustration rises and instead stop and live in the moment, whether beautiful or ugly, as even the ugly ones can be redeemed.