When considering the phrase “stolen moments,” I’ve always thought of two young lovers stealing away for a little private time. But lately, I’ve come to realize it can simply refer to any precious moment in which one person is filled — or rather, overcome — with love for another.
Let me explain.
When my girls were little, I could scoop them into my arms and shower them with kisses, only to have them giggle with glee — regardless of whether anyone else caught a glimpse. Now that they are older, attempting such an overt display of affection, particularly in the presence of any other human being, could be considered an act of treason.
So at this point, there seems to be more of a need for me to steal these private moments.
But how? As my kids grow, I’m realizing how much less I know about parenting. Didn’t someone say it would get easier? Ha! At this point, with all those pesky hormones floating around, it usually feels next to impossible to even think about gazing at my child with sweet devotion. (Come on, if you have ever lived with a teenager, you know what I mean…)
Then… just when you least expect it, an opportunity to steal a moment comes. Just in case you haven’t yet lived through this, consider this little scenario:
The birds are chirping as the warm sun waves good morning and you start to stir out of a dream-filled slumber. Then the door cracks and the smell of pancakes and bacon wafts through the room, just before your beloved daughter brings you breakfast in bed.
BEEP BEEP BEEP
Then the alarm goes off abruptly, ending any dreams of sleeping in late and having anyone actually make breakfast for you. (Sorry, but you are a mom to a teen who needs help getting up in the morning, remember?!)
You trudge to the bottom of the steps to see if she’s up yet. Hearing nothing, you head upstairs to wake the dead. She’s late (as usual), which means your shower must wait until after her’s (in my scenario, you have a pretty terrible hot water heater). She needs her PE uniform for school today, so you go back down the stairs to retrieve it from the dryer.
You fold the laundry, put her PE uniform in her backpack, feed the dog, empty the dishwasher, and then return upstairs to see if she’s out yet. After reminding her she’s late and that everyone else would like some hot water this morning, she yells to ask if her favorite pair of jeans is out of the dryer yet. So you go back downstairs for the laundry basket. By the time you have climbed the stairs for the third or fourth time before 7am, it’s time to start making lunches and then get child number two up for the day.
As the bus goes by and you realize you’ll be driving to school in your pajamas again (and you can’t believe you’re *that* mom), she screams down the stairs, “Mom! Could you dry my hair so I can put my makeup on at the same time?”
You sigh and think, “Really?! Is this what my life has come to?”
But… you do it… because you love her. And…
And as you’re standing there in your robe, holding the hairbrush in one hand and the blow dryer in the other, that’s when it hits you. These might be the most special, most private ten minutes you have with your daughter all day.
She takes a break from applying eye liner to tell you a funny story about a boy in her class and then giggles. You find yourself smiling and staring at your beautiful, wonderful child, wondering how you ever got blessed with her presence in your life. She doesn’t know it, but you’re throwing your arms around her and showering her with kisses in your mind. You’re praying for her, and thanking God for her, and just loving her.
You’re stealing the moment with your daughter, and it feels great. It also makes you realize how you need to look harder for moments like this, even when you’re busy… and she’s being annoying… and [insert a million other excuses here].
Because, as it turns out, you can’t find what you don’t look for. 😉
Portions of this post – Stolen Moments in Parenting – were originally published to my personal blog on May 1, 2012.