Thursday, August 9, 2012

Dinner Can Wait

I dumped the box of Play Doh onto the table, my saving grace on napless days. This will buy me some time, I thought foolishly as she snapped the lid off the first container. 

I took one step toward the kitchen. Not so fast. 

"Mommy will play with me?" 

I sank into the chair next to her, disappointed that my escape plan failed. I rolled the dough between my palms and pressed the ball into the plastic tube. She pulled the lever and brown "ice cream" swirled into the plastic cone. She was amazed. I was bored.  

"Look, Mommy! An ice cream cone!"

"I see," I responded, feigning equal fascination.

I was looking, but I didn't really see. All I could see was the dust on the window sill; crumbs on the floor; dishes on the counter. Behind me, the oven timer counted down. Five minutes and eleven seconds. Ten. Nine. 

My mind tempted me with "shoulds." Grab a dust rag. Get the broom. Fill the dishwasher. Check the casserole. 

I backed my chair away from the table, preparing to make my exit. As I rose to my feet, a single leaf drifted toward the ground outside, dead from the consistent lack of it's greatest need. I looked into my daughter's face, and saw the desire in her eyes. The desire for my presence, full and undivided - her greatest need. Suddenly, the "shoulds" faded from my focus, the dishes vanished, the crumbs disappeared, the dust dissolved.

Ignoring the steady Beeeep Beeeep of the over timer, I returned to my seat and made another dough ball. She filled the tube. I turned the crank. Pink "sprinkles" rained on her little fingers. Her giggles filled the room. Her smile filled my heart.

"Look, Mommy! Splinkles!"

"I see," I responded again, this time with genuine fascination, and I realize that I'm no longer just looking. I really do see. 

This is a Bigger Picture Moment. Join us at Corinne's place today.


  1. I know that pull between all that "should" be done and the playing with the play dough! What a wise mom to realize the playing is a "should" as well!

  2. :) Playing with our kids is probably the most important thing we can do with them, but it's so hard to forget! Loved this!

  3. An everyday constant tug of the heart strings versus the the strings on my mind ... you chose the better thing, Lisa. :-)

  4. Wow, I read this just after I read Corinne's post on listening and I'm struck by the parallels. This is a great reminder for us all to be present. Whether for our children, or life in general. Thanks for sharing!

  5. WOW!!! YES, YES, YES!!! I feel like I'm reading about my own life. That's the greatest part of Bigger Picture Moments, you start to see them everywhere and then you take the time to really experience them. Congrats to you for slowing down, and just being.