A couple years ago, I nearly died as a result of a heart condition I didn’t know I had. One morning I was making waffles for my girls. Just 24 hours later, I was having heart surgery.
I will never forget the profound disbelief at being told that I would be dead in the morning if I didn’t have the surgery. I still get sick to my stomach when I recall the terror that tore through me as I signed releases and said goodbye to my stunned family.
I could think about nothing but my children and the things I would miss. I didn’t get to say goodbye. I didn’t even sit with them on what I thought was my last "waffle morning."
“I want to see my kids” was all I could manage to say as they rolled me down the hall to surgery.
Thanks to God and an amazing surgeon, I’m still here today and, God willing, will be here tomorrow.
I remember my pastor sitting by my bedside quietly praying with me. I couldn’t speak, but I prayed, more intensely than I ever have. I thanked God for giving me more time; and, I prayed I would appreciate every day I have with my family. I prayed I would learn to enjoy the simple things more.
Even after all of that, I still have to force myself to slow down and be reminded that the simple things, when it comes to time with my kids, my family, matter most.
I think we moms are hard on ourselves. We say things like, “I’m not perfect” or “I just don’t want to make a mistake” and, one of my favorites, “I’m sure I’m messing them up." All of us have probably uttered these words to a trusted friend a time or two. We all want to be the best moms we can be and, try as we might to not expect perfection, I think we do.
We do our best to pick just the right toys for them as babies and make sure we are never tardy to our well-child visits. We research car seats tirelessly in order to make the safest choice for our precious cargo. We read to them, sing to them, rock them and cuddle them. We are careful not to jeopardize their naps and we provide them with the most nutritious meals possible.
We wade cautiously into the world of playgroups in search of the right combination of fun, exercise and social interaction, all the while praying we can find anything in common (other than our love of ‘Imagination Movers’) with the other parents.
We get involved at school on committees, on PTOs and in the classroom. We do all of this, I believe, in order to stay in tune with our kids and their experiences and the goings on in their lives. I think we want to do everything we can to ensure our kids feel confident, happy and secure as they make their way through this big, sometimes scary world.
I am easily distracted by the "doing," and by the "making sure" part of being a mom and I have to remind myself daily to revel in the old-school simple parenting which, for me, is just hanging out with my kids. My girls are happiest when we spend time at the , color, craft, or play a pick-up game of soccer in the living room.
And we love to make waffles.
Ah, the simple things.