Thursday, May 5, 2011

My Private Date

After receiving the news we planned to adopt, many people gave me the advice to use the time waiting for the baby to be born to really connect with the children I already have, to soak up the time spent with them and focus on them because adoptions and new babies take up so much time and energy. That sounded like great advice, so over the past two months I've gone on field trips with my nine-year-old, stolen my 11-year-old out of school for a special lunch date, dropped daily tasks to snuggle on the couch with my four-year-old and watch his favorite movie, and I took my six-year-old on a private date. Each experience was wonderful! There's absolutely nothing like spending one-on-one time with a child, and I loved every minute of it. The date with my sweet little daughter was a bit unforgettable. I was smiling clear to my toes as I visited with her. It was only one hour, but oh how much I learned--about her, her personality, her goals and her outlook on life. This is how part of our conversation went.

"So Regyn, what do you want to be when you grow up?"

Long pause as she pondered the question. "A mother," she finally answered resolutely.

Loving this answer, I continued on, "A mother? That's a really great thing to be. What a fabulous choice!"

"Oh, and a vet," she interrupted.

"A vet? Do you know what a vet is?" I asked, just to be sure.

"Yeah," she said as if to say, of course! "Like, if you have a sick dog or something, you take him to the vet and he makes him better."

"Right. I didn't know you were so interested in animals," I said.

"Oh yeah, I love animals, so I'm going to be a mother and a vet."

Then, realizing it might be hard to manage both occupations all the time, she quickly added, Well, I'm going to be a vet on Thursdays."

"On Thursdays?" I asked, trying to peer into her mind.

"Yes. Because I want to spend as much time with my kids as possible so I don't want to be a vet every day, but then sometimes I'll need a break from my kids, so that's why I'm going to be a vet on Thursdays."

What great thinking! She seemed to have it all figured out. Except for one thing.

"So, who's going to take care of your children on Thursdays while you work as a vet?" I asked, thinking I was sure to catch her in a dilemma. Not so.

"Hmm," she pondered momentarily, then came up with the perfect solution. "My husband!"

I couldn't help but let out a chuckle. "So, let me get this straight. You are going to take care of your children every day except Thursdays, when you will work as a vet? Your husband will work every day but Thursdays, so he can watch the children while you work?"


"Just one more question," I said. "When will you spend time with your husband?"

At this point she must have realized I was trying to catch her off guard. We both smiled a knowing smile at each other and continued enjoying our fabulous ice cream cookie dessert. But as we sat there together and I thought about her answers, I was overwhelmed with joy and gratitude over this child of mine. I watched her from across the table and tears came to my eyes as I realized once again how much I love her and how wonderfully unique and amazing she is. I forced my mind and heart to take a picture and never forget the moment, for it's all these little moments as a mother that add up to a wonderful life.

Just days later, I laughed once again at this precocious little child. She happens to be left-handed and very left-footed as well, we've noticed as she's played soccer this year and struggles to kick the ball with her right foot. She had a new little bag she was pretending to be a purse, and she asked me what shoulder I usually hang my purse from. I said, "I don't know, my right one?" to which she replied. "Not me. I use my left. I think it's because I'm left-shouldered."

I love it! I've never heard of someone being right- or left-shouldered, but I couldn't help but smile at her thinking process. I'm truly grateful for the ability to recognize these small moments that could easily pass as mundane and inconsequential. They make me smile from deep within and remind me that truly there is not a more wonderful job in the world than simply being a mother!