The kids are playing in the pool. They are jumping off the ledge, yelling ‘canon ball!’ They slide down the slide and dive into tubes and the waters of the pool are in constant motion.
All the while they cry out, “Mom, watch me!”
“Mom, watch this.”
“Mom are you ready?”
“Mom did you see me?”
I smile and cheer. I encourage and warn and cry out ‘Be Careful!’ I laugh and nod my head in approval and share in their excitement and thrills.
I realize just how much I am still needed and wanted, even just to watch.
I wonder, how much have I not seen because I didn’t intentionally watch?
What have I missed because I wasn’t ready?
What have I lost because I didn’t see?
How many times when they have cried out “Mom watch me,” have I replied “hold on…one minute…I can’t I’m busy.”
How many times when they have cried out “Mom are you ready?” have I looked up for a second and then look back down at my phone at an insignificant email or post or picture that holds not one ounce of importance compared to my three babes and I miss it.
I MISSED IT.
“Did you see me mom?”
“No baby, I’m sorry,” disappointment fills their sweet face.
Why couldn’t I look up.
Why couldn’t I engage. It’s simple, yet so many things distract me.
“I’m sorry I missed it.”
I missed it because I forgot. I forgot to look. I forgot that these moments of seeing go by in a blink of an eye and before I know it the moments and cries to “watch me” will be silent and gone.
“Can you do it again and I’ll promise to watch this time?” I ask hoping that they’ll give me another chance. Because their mama is just like them…she needs a lot of extra chances to get it right. To figure out that there is value in the right now.There is value in the watching sometimes even more so than in the doing.
I promise to watch. I promise to see. I promise to realize you are here right now and everything else simply isn’t.
They forgive me and eagerly do their trick again, hoping to do better than the first time because this time I am watching.
This jump, this leap into cold water is important to them right now and this leap carries so much hope because this time, mom is watching.
They know deep down that if mom watches the small, insignificant silly leaps, she’ll never miss the big leaps. The leaps that take great courage, the jumps that will push them out of the boat, the dives that will matter deeply and move others.
If mom watches the small leaps, she will be ready for and will never miss the big jumps.
The waters are still now. The cries have ceased. The laughter is now a memory.
“Mom watch me!” Watch me, because one day you will only be able to see the highlights.
“Mom watch this!” Watch this, because one day you will only be able to see what I choose to share with you.
“Mom are you ready?” Be ready, because one day I won’t wait for you.
“Mom did you see me?” See me, because what you see now will soon simply be a memory of what was and you don’t want to miss it now, for later will come too soon.
I hope my children can one day say,
“Mom I am who I am because you watched me.
You watched over me. You cheered for me. You protected me.
You SAW me.
All the small, silly, seemingly insignificant…you saw it all.
Mom, I could trust you to be ready to see all I wanted you to see.
I could trust you to encourage and cheer me on because you were watching me.
I knew you wouldn’t miss anything, because watching me was important to you.
Because you watched me jump, now I can fly.”
And one day I will be able to relive the memories and thrill over the highlights because I was ready and I watched.