Posted on | September 4, 2013 | 5 Comments
I’m the mom that teachers probably groan about. Because when I take J to school or pick him up, I tend to dawdle. I linger in the classroom and answer questions, watch gymnastic moves, listen to songs or clap for dances. I hang out on the play mat and witness the miracle of these little people, these 3-6 year olds with their wide-eyed wonder at the world. I stay until I know I have to leave, sliding out the door with promises to come back that afternoon or the following morning.
I don’t do it because I worry about where J is in school or how he’s interacting with his friends. I don’t do it because I loathe leaving J and going to work, though I do, and I don’t do it to bother or burden his teachers in any way.
I linger because I flat out get a kick out of kids.
Not just my kid, all kids. I love the way they think and talk. I love that everything is big in their world… big ideas, big dreams, big excitement, and even big sadness. I love the look on their faces when an adult pays them the right kind of attention… total devotion to the moment they’re in, total amazement at what they can do and be and say. When I linger, I get to witness everyday fantastic by way of a five year old singing every single word to “Call Me Maybe” while her friend twirls and dances beside her. I get to applaud when they finish and say “Encore! Encore!” only to have them start the same song over again with different dance moves. When I linger, I get to hear a four year old tell me half the words to his favorite movie, with a crooked sideways grin on his face and I get to finish the lines because I’ve seen that movie, six times, with my own four year old. I get to watch miraculous balancing on one foot, jumping higher than high, spinning until they fall down… and all the while, their faces and eyes are glowing with the knowledge that they are being three or four or five or six… and someone is happily watching them be that.
It’s my favorite part of my days. It’s what I miss by being a working mom… the little moments during the day when everything is bright and shiny in a four year old’s world. It’s what I look forward to in the mornings and the afternoons: those moments of magic when one child or another says “Hey J’s mommy! Watch this!” and then they do something ordinary which is so not ordinary because they couldn’t do it yesterday or the day before or just a few short years ago.
I linger because….kids. They’re so freaking amazing. They’re just… full of so much joy at everything. They are full of drama and need and love and angst and I live to be knee deep in it because being around kids reminds me that all the little things are what matter. All the small moments, all the tiniest drops of special… they are what really matter.
Kids remind me to do the things I used to love to do… to stand on one leg, to attempt a cartwheel, to spin until my head feels swimmy with confusion. And so I linger… soaking in the amazing that is J and his world and his friends… in the hopes that some of their magic might just spin my way.