I want to be...Available

This afternoon, Tim went out dirt biking with a friend.

I want to be...Available 1After 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.

I want to be...Available 2It 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.

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33 comments on “I want to be...Available”

  1. You are the best kind of mom. I have heard you say how blessed you are to have your girls in your life, and you are, but they are blessed to have you as their mom! If our girls ever meet they can combine their superhero-princess powers to help make the world a better place :)

  2. This was such a well written story, Stephanie! Seeing the world through a child's eyes is such a wonderful thing. Just being there is such a special thing, and I am so thankful that I get to be a SAHM!

  3. Being with your babies is the most precious of time. I too don't want to miss a thing. I chose to work nights for this reason, although very little sleep, I can be there to catch them during the day.

  4. There is so much to be said for just being there - isn't there! I love the fact that I get to catch all of Sugar and Goose's little new things they do, see the wonder on their faces when they experience something new and just be there to laugh with them, hold them, read stories, play toys, color and more.

    I love this post Stephanie, you express yourself so well!

  5. She's priceless.

    I just realized that you don't have any boys to have the "bad guy" conversation with... I'll lend you mine for the day, because it's a riot. They have every move planned, every word they'll say... I was worried at first, but my husband assures me that he did the same thing when he was their age.

  6. Your daughter is just too precious! What a cute story (I love that she'll poke any approaching "Bad Guys!")

    Wonderful comment about quality v. quantity time. I want both -- I want to be there for those little moments. It's all the little moments that tend to be the most important in the long run.

  7. That's too cute. At first I thought you were going to say your little girl burst into hysterical laughter that you almost fell (because that's what my little boy would do... the difference between boys and girls!).

    I love your reference to quantity time. I agree totally. Quality time is important of course, but I think it's equally (if not more) important to be around to see everything, laugh at silly things, make grilled cheeses for lunch, go for long walks, just everything.

  8. what a wonderful story, in a momemt of what could of been pain she made it a good memorie, and you mentioned you look to see if others were looking. I think we all do that instantly no matter what and most times even when someone eles is near by you think they saw it all but they never even noticed. This has really nothing to do with what your story was about but it made me think of it and that is how parents will be in any public place with their kids like a restaraunt etc and they feel their kids are talking to loud or playing to loud verbally so they keep telling them shhhh quite not to loud when i think they may be a little thinking of others as not to disturb them but mostly i think they think they will be starred at or looked at and they themselves be embarressed thinking they have kids who are unruly, but infact it's just the oppisite in my opinion, us older people who's kids are grown and we may seldom see our grandchildern or maybe have none at all to see and hear childrens laughter to like a treat to see if for a second the laughter they share the commedy they can give by a facail exspression or funny things they say and it can make someone eles day too to hear or see them, so i say let them be thereselves so others can remember when their kids were there to enjoy and rember when, for time is short enjoy each moment because one day it will be you wanting to hear their voice their laugh and remembering only when you told them shhhhh. great pictures you captured too, also another thing you will have when your old and gray as we are. God's Blessing..

  9. I guess we have to take advantage of it while it's there. I'm convinced my boy is going to wake up one day feeling much less impressed with the things I do for him :-) That'll be the day I shrink a little inside.

  10. Children have a wonderful way of seeing things with new eyes...their perspectives are so innocent and vary from what the adult sees it as. I loved this story!

  11. LOVE that story. The things that come out of my kids' mouths cracks me up and yet is often filled with so much meaning. Their two-foot-tall perspectives are sometimes so much grander than mine.

  12. This is another wonderful post Steph. I feel the same way, I want to always be here and totally available for my kids.

    Oh and I totally trip on nothing all the time.

  13. Awww...I just love it. I'm giggling and my heart has definitely been warmed by this one. I couldn't agree more about quantity time. Quality time is wonderful and special, but quantity is where you really get to know your little ones.

  14. Love it! Beautiful and hysterical at the same time. Don't you love how each day is filled with those moments- often at the same time:). I'm so thankful that my hubby and I get to appreciate those dailies as well. I love big sister's perspective and will beware the "poking".

  15. That little story is awesome. I have been grateful lately for all the little things I can see my 1 year old do all day long. It would break my heart if I missed out on all his new tricks and had to hear about them from someone else. And really, I'm glad I'm not a bad guy.

  16. Oh how lovely that "big sister" will poke them :) I love it. Isn't it wonderful to live life with these little ones with such happy hearts!

  17. Just to clarify my first post: I don't think it's always necessarily true that quantity time equals quality time. But I think it's true a lot. I think when you are an available, conscientious, devoted parent, much of your quantity time ends up being quality as well. And I think it does matter a lot to kids how much and how often we are there--and not just that we have a few concentrated moments with them a day or a week. I think they want to know mom and/or dad are around in the everydayness, as well as the special times. Hope that makes sense. :-)

  18. I just love this post. And I'm so glad you didn't drop your baby or fall on her or hurt yourself--I was scared for a quick second, until I read on. Your three-year-old's comments about the whole situation are precious.
    I completely agree that quantity time equals quality time when it comes to parenting. I don't want to miss a thing. Being available for these little ones is huge gift and blessing for both parent and child.

  19. I love this story, Stephanie! You just made me smile the biggest smile. I tried to picture my boys in that situation and instead of thinking I'm their hero, I think they would laugh at me. I am there, if for nothing else, but to entertain. :) I am in complete agreement with you about quantity as well as quality of time spent. Just being there for part of my 1st grader's day at school brightens his whole day. Pushing my 3 year old on the swing in the park after our picnic puts the biggest smile on his face. Cuddling with my 9 month old while she's having a hard time going down for a nap is time that I will never regret spending. How could I be spending it with other people's children or in an office when I have so many important jobs to do. Mom is my most important job and I like it that way.

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