August 5, 2009

What Matters Most

Since flying back from California, busy days have reached an all-time high for me. I firmly believe there aren't enough hours in the day for everything that I'd like to get done. I've also thought that maybe I need to step back and reprioritize a little bit, to at least get the most out of the hours I do have, and maybe spend less time on the endless list of tasks I have, and more time on what matters most. My 3-year-old brought this to my attention last night. At 3, she is observant beyond belief sometimes, and has been putting things into perspective for me, really, from the moment she was born.

Of all that I am and could ever be, I've said countless times before that I am proudest of being a mom. There is truly nothing in this world that brings me greater happiness. As my days get busier and busier, I have been guilty of simply making sure their necessities are taken care of before tackling the next task, and very little to nothing more than that. The quality time gets sacrificed for more hours to spend at work, or on projects that need to get done. After putting them to bed, I'm usually up for another several hours, trying to get ahead of my to-do list.

Yesterday was no exception. Taimane decided she wanted to spend more time with her Aunty Rose, so I picked up Eden from her house and headed home. I made sure she had something to eat and got her out some crayons and paper to draw with, before heading to get some work done. As I turned to leave her to all the artistic possibilities her little heart and hands could render up, she stopped me.

Mommy, wait. Can you sit next to me? I agreed and sat down, telling her I would for a few minutes. Can we read a book? I obliged, and she found a Curious George book she got last winter. It's about a snowy day, and as I read, she stopped me after every few words and asked me when it would snow again, and when it did, could she go out in our yard and wear snow shoes like George, etc. I indulged her questions and answered them all. At the end of the book, she clapped her hands and said, The End! and thanked me profusely for reading to her.

Anytime, I replied, and start to leave again, my mind full of all the things I should be getting done. OK, she said, Can we read another book then? I almost said no, but the look on her face melted my heart, and I sat down to read four more books. After they were all done, she smiled at me and gave me a hug.

Now, let's watch cartoons, Mommy! I hugged her quickly back and told her maybe another time, I have a lot of work to do.

Tears welled up in her eyes and she turned her face into a couch cushion. You work all the time. You hurt my feelings, you know?

I think my heart broke into a million pieces, and suddenly I couldn't remember a single thing on my long to-do list. Lately, Eden's discovered how to verbalize when someone offends her or makes her unhappy in any way, by saying that he or she has hurt her feelings. I sat back down with her and pulled her onto my lap, apologizing for not making more time for her.

When I became a parent, I told myself that I'd never put work or anything before my children, and somehow, things had turned out that way. I spent a good hour and a half with Eden before she decided she wanted to go and play, and didn't need me to stick around. I was behind on editing photos, and behind on paperwork and a month close, but the little time I spent away from it all, I wouldn't ask back. An hour and a half spent with my baby girl was the best spent time possible. At the end of the day, that was what mattered most. Mommy loves you, Eden Girl!


Mapuana Reed Mataele said...

Awww. Give Eden a big hug from us. She probably just needs some quality one on one with you. See you guys next week :).

Janika said...

You're a good Mom, Pua. You've taught your daughter to speak up - especially when it comes to "her" time with you. Keep up ALL your good work! God bless you & your family.

Seini Photography said...

I am so with you on this....they definitely keep us grounded and put things in perspective. I've decided for now that they are always right and that I can sacrifice my time (which occurs during my sleep to play catch up). Love this post!