The 60 seconds I learned that Not all 60 seconds are created equal (when you are a Mother)

1Once, I naively believed that a minute was a minute, equal to all the rest. A mere sixty seconds of time. No big deal. Sixty seconds early or sixty seconds late didn’t make a difference. One minute more, one minute less on the treadmill, the sweat was the same. But, as time evolves and my daughters grow, the quality and texture of my minutes change. The taste of a gained minute is sugary and dense like a perfectly ripened manga. The taste of one lost, like poorly cooked kale: overly chewy and a bit bitter. I find myself listening to the ticking sound guiding me through each day. Careful of picking up my girls from school on time, washing a favorite dress for a special occasion and having dinner ready on the table have become priorities. I pay closer attention not to control time as big hands and little hands go round and round; instead cherishing the minutes as they pass us by. Every second counts now that I am a mother… and no amount of time is ever quite sufficient, is it?

My little girl says that I have no time to play.

2My older one says that I always have something to do.

…and this is when I stopped to listen intensely for sixty whole seconds.

This is when I realized that not all sixty seconds are created equal.

Time for them is never enough…. Time with them is never enough. However, their time is my time and my time theirs. They just don’t know it, I suppose.

‘I don’t play’, I answer with a question mark.

‘I am never too busy for you’, I respond with an exclamation mark.

60 seconds to pause. 60 seconds to really absorb the words. 60 seconds before saying…

How about …

when I read you a bedtime story, the same book for the trillionth time… too tired to keep both eyes fully open, but with expression and joy…

when I return home later than expected and you ask me to make you homemade pizza. It will take two and a half hours, but I enthusiastically say ‘YES’…

when we play jacks, when we paint and paste,… when we watch a movie popped up on lots of pillows and under a cozy blanket, arm in arm, when I have other ‘important’ things to do…

when we sneak off silently without telling anyone and we go to get something sinfully yummy to eat, just me and you…

when I brush your knotty hair early in the morning and you complain and my smile stares back at you from the mirror all the same…

3when we sing Boom Boom Clap with Hannah at the top of our lungs while driving in the car or Doe a Dear over and over again along busy, city streets, moves and all…

when I stop working, stop cooking, stop everything to give you my complete attention as you explain to me in detail how you fell off the chair or why the little, white dog barked at you and showed you his teeth…

Now that I have you, I would happily give up 60 seconds anytime because…

60 seconds less sleep at night is 60 seconds more cuddle time while I caress and tickle your perfectly tanned skin.

460 seconds less of my beauty routine is 60 seconds more to zip you up and tie your shoe, sending you off with a kiss and reminding you to spread your lovely, little smiles.

60 seconds less of emails is 60 seconds more of watching the ice cream drip delightfully down your faces and fingers.

60 seconds less of housework is 60 seconds more of watching all the amazing moves you do on the monkey bars and how fast your legs get you around the track.

560 seconds less of my running is 60 seconds more of us sharing hopes and dreams as we stroll, a tiny hand wrapped in mine and…

60 seconds less of yoga in the morning is nothing compared to 60 seconds of watching your little bodies sweetly sleep; aware that way too soon you will both be  women, feeling grateful for the miracle of something so precious.

So you see my sweet little darlings, 60 seconds less is always so much more when my time transforms itself into our time and I spend 60 additional seconds loving you…

6Now, I promise to play more and I promise to always have time.

‘Thank you and thank you’, I whisper into their ears before this night becomes Gone.

Today you taught me a very important lesson:

In only 60 seconds you made me understand that all 60 seconds are not created equal…

Every one of my 60 seconds changed the day you came into this world, the day I became lucky enough to be your mommy and the two of you became dearer than my life… so dear that I understood for the first time what it meant to be willing to give up your own life for someone else in less than a second’s time.

Happy Mother’s Day to anyone who has ever been someone’s child and anyone who has ever had a ‘child’ to ‘mother’!

firma danni

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