This afternoon, Tim went out dirt biking with a friend.
After he left, my 3-year-old requested that we go on a walk. For some reason, I decided not to put my baby in a carrier this time and then I decided at the last minute to grab my camera too. With a baby perched on my hip, a camera around my neck, and a 3-year-old by my side, I began walking down the sidewalk.
- Then, I tripped. -
You know how you sometimes trip on nothing when you're walking on flat sidewalks? No? Oh, right...that doesn't happen to me very much either. Anyway, one of my ankles kind of tilted to the side and I started crumbling to one side. I held on to my baby, held on to my camera, and caught myself, staggering to a triumphant stand. Then, I glanced around casually to see if anyone had noticed the spectacle. I sighed, relieved, when I noticed that our street was empty.
It was then that I glanced over and noticed my 3-year-old's expression. Her fists were clenched with excitement, her eyes wide with admiration and delight. With cheeks flushed, she shouted, "Mama, you SAVED her! You SAVED my baby sister!" She was overjoyed.
I couldn't help but feel my heart fill up to the brim, laughter gurgling up from my stomach. Her happiness was pulsating around us. "Yes, I did," I announced seriously, halfway to myself, "I will always try to save you and your sister."
Then, she became a little more subdued and said very matter-of-factly, "But if bad guys come, then I will poke them."
And we started walking again, side-by-side. Just like that.
Here I was worried about being embarrassed and she saw a rescue.
One of the best things about being a mom is that those kind of moments happen every day - and those are the kind of moments I don't want to miss. I want to be Around. Available. A lot. There's something to be said for concentrated doses of quality time, but there is also something to be said for QUANTITY time. I want to know my girls - to smile with them, to catch their tears, to hear the wonder in their voices at daily discoveries. Every day. All day. I want to be here to talk with them and to teach them and to be taught by them.
I would say that I want to protect them too, but - apparently - my 3-year-old has us covered in that area. Bad Guys Beware - she'll poke you if you come around.