Never Finished

Tuck dumped a pillowcase of rocks out on the floor and lined them up. Mama, look! Excuse me, Mama? Aren’t these cool! They are smooth and colorful and very beautiful to look at. Look! I was busy collecting magnets in one hand and gears in the other, face toward the floor, focused on clearing a path.  I gave his collection a quick glance.
Later Tuck spread small plastic shapes across the counter.  I’m analyzing like a scientist. That means I’m studying. Let’s make animals and food and vehicles in groups. That means I’m classifying. I should have said Yes, yes you are a scientist, yes you do make excellent observations.  I should have rerouted my own observations from crumbs on the counter and dust on the sill, I should have quit categorizing dirt and put Tuck in first class.
May Tollie have a bite of your burrito, I asked, trying to get both boys fed quickly so we could move on to the next thing.  No, his mouth is too small – look, his mouth is only one two three four, and the burrito is one two three for five six seven eight nine ten.  He'd been moving glacially all morning and I was trying not to lose track of the list of things I wanted to accomplish, trying to get us all out the door before someone needed their next meal.

There's a difference between being busy and being overcommitted.  Everything changes when you realize there is exactly enough time for the important stuff.  When the things you need to do aren't happening, it may be because you value what is happening instead.

Tuck has been measuring a lot lately, using numbers to prove a point.  Hey Mama, I put the fragile shells on top of the table so Tollie can't reach them.  Because the table is one two three four five six seven and Tollie is only one two three four, he'll say, using his hands to demonstrate height.
Tuck's logic was irrefutable, almost.  I slowed down, made Tollie his own, smaller, burrito.  Decided that the next thing wasn't all that important, determined to pay more attention to now.  Talked to Tucker about units and explained that I admired his thinking.  Encouraged measuring, encouraged sharing.

There's this thing about never being finished, and that’s that it’s most often okay.  He's growing fast, running out of clothes that fit, and I'm running out of time.  If there's one thing that's never finished, I hope it's my work as his mother.  I can hardly wait to love him forever.


Poppy John said...

Jenni Baby,

You can afford to buy the kid an accordion...
but not a shirt?



Andy and Jenni said...

Dad! The accordion was a gift. He *does* have clothes, he just never wears them. Upside: Tollie will get nice hand-me-downs.
And also? Won't Sandy be suspicious the minute you "cook" something for her? The thing to know about the manchineel is that even the juice on your skin can be harmful, so you don't actually have to get her to eat it...

The Wendels said...

Thank you for always reminding me whats truly important.

Beth Ann said...

Have you guys been watching The Lawrence Welk show too??? All 3 of our boys love it. Catch it at 7pm on Saturdays on WOSU and see if Tuck can pick up some pointers on playing the squeezebox from a legend!!!