I was finally starting to see the light at the end of the laundry room tunnel. It seemed all I had done for two days was sort, wash, fold, and put away. Occasionally Abby or Grace would bring me a doll to swaddle or clothe, but I was generally buried in laundry and they played by themselves.
A little while later I had left the laundry and was playing with them. I was a tickle monster, and they giggled, shrieked, and ran around while I hugged, kissed, and tickled them. Then I thought, "Will they remember this?"
Will my children remember me as being distantly present--in the kitchen or laundry room--but not really there? Or will they remember me laughing with them, playing with them, reading to them, and snuggling them? What will they remember of their childhoods?
A few weeks passed, and I was having one of those lovely days in the life of a stay-at-home mom. My kids were all sick and, I must confess, I find it to be completely unsettling to be surrounded by little people who cough, hack, snort, and sneeze on me. I was feeling tired (from caring for a sick toddler at night) and suffering from the sore throat that comes when you live in the aforementioned conditions. I was feeling a tad grumpy. So I decided to try to look for things that were funny. Surely they were surrounding me just waiting to be noticed--after all, I live with small children.
So a few minutes later when Abby picked up my watch and asked what it was for, I told her it was so I would know when to tickle my kids. When Abby wanted to wear a towel turban the way I do after a shower, I helped her assemble it.
When Grace put on Abby's new swimsuit, I laughed and they humored me in a little photo shoot.
When Abby pretended to be Captain Hook, I turned into the crocodile. It was a lot of fun. Thank goodness I decided to shelf my morning grumpiness.
I can't really control what my kids will remember, but I can control the effort and time I put in to help them have good memories. Motherhood is hard--some days it's really hard. But perhaps the next time I want to cry (or scream), I'll look for things that make me laugh. Then my kids will have something I will want them to remember. And so will I.