If tomorrow never comes

Sweet Thad comes over and very politely asks: “Mommy? Will you come play with me please?”

“Not now Thaddeus. I’m busy.”

“Please mommy. You be the dumper truck and I’ll be the digger. Would you like that?”

“No Thaddeus. Can’t you see I’m doing something?”

“Please mommy. Will you come play with me for one minute?”

“Ugh. Thaddeus! I have to get this done! Ugh. Ok give me two minutes. Let me finish this and I’ll go to you. Go, go play on your own.”

Deflated, my sweet son walks away and plays on his own.

Sadly, this happens almost on the daily. And every night mommy guilt kicks in.

Mommy guilt is real 

How can I be too busy to be with my children? What could be more important and urgent than making memories with the person(s) who genuinely want my company?

Why do I take my frustration out on my child? Coworkers sure don’t give a damn if I don’t take my entitled break! But it would make my baby’s day if I sat with him for 10 minutes. 

What really bugs me though, is that I know all this. I know I should stop and drop and be with my children. But I don’t. I don’t want to wait till it is too late. I don’t want to wait till an accident hits too close to home. I don’t want to learn from pain and regret.

Actually, it has already hit too close to home. 

A grieving mother 

Today I heard the story from a grieving mother who lost her baby at summer camp (summer daycare) a year ago. Death by negligence, and the camp owner was sentenced to 6 months jail and a 100,000 Lebanese pounds (US$66.67) fine. (So many things wrong with this; but a rant for another time.)

Yesterday, another child was lost at a local summer camp here. Fingers are pointing everywhere, even at the parents. 

Check your judgement at the door

It is so easy for us to judge others. It is so easy for one parent to feel superior to the other. Breastfeeding moms against formula moms. Working mothers vs stay-at-home mothers. Helicopter parent and laid back parent. The list goes on. 

I am guilty of judging the other. I am usually very aggressive at advocating for breast is best. I judge mothers who choose to bottle feed and take “the easy way out”. I judge parents who let their children cry it out. I don’t understand why people choose to become parents and expect their lifestyle to remain the same. 

Maybe age has mellowed me. My priority of advocating for the children is still the same, but my approach to the parents has changed. These days, I’m not so quick to jump down their throats. Instead, I approach gently and try to understand the reason behind their choice. Then slowly unveil the beauty of the other side to them. 

Upon hearing the news of the incident, I didn’t care whose fault it was. My heart broke. I cried. For the mother. For the father. For the siblings. For his loved ones left to mourn him. 

Becoming a mom has soften me. My heart and head goes immediately to being in their position. 

Seize every moment

So today, I make a public pledge. I pledge to always hold my children. Immediately. For however long they want me to. My arms will ache. My back will hurt. Meals will be delayed. But my children, my children will be held. 

Being out in the heat annoys me. Getting dirty irritates me. But I will sit in the sun and play in the sand with my children. I’ll crawl and jump with them despite my own discomforts. Because I love them. I want to seize every opportunity to be with them.

They will know my life is for them. 

My life in Lebanon

I’ve been in Lebanon for almost 4.5 years. By choice, I have not learnt to speak Arabic. I still get frustrated with the system or lack thereof. I’m still not convinced this is where I want my children to grow up. 

Every one we meet asks us: “What are you doing here? So many want to leave. You can leave but you don’t?! You left, and you came back?!”

People who have left, cite the same reasons I want to go.

At the same time, I must admit that my life here is a peach! I honestly don’t think I can have the same lifestyle I have here if I were to live anywhere else in the world right at this juncture in our lives.

I am sure it helps that I am one to make the best of every situation we are in. To be happy wherever we are. 

Life is too short to be complaining about the country. Life is too precious to be spent wishing for greener grass. 

The reality is, I’ve been handed a good lot. A wonderful one. I’ve a loving husband with whom I’ve two beautiful children. We have a house and a car, both fully paid for. We don’t go hungry. We have clothes for all season and occasions. We have no debt. 

Every morning I drink my coffee while sitting on our furnished deck overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. My children buzz around me; Thad running his cars and trucks on the grass, while Elisabeth tries her darnest to sneak into the pool. 

As it starts to get hot outside, we head into our air conditioned home and potter around the house. 

Every afternoon, we’re back outside. The children jumping in and out of the pool while I lie on my back in the pool with my gigantic sunhat covering my face. 

My life really is pretty sweet. 

Beautiful busy 

Usually when I get a day off work, I like to head out. But today, the husband had business meetings that he couldn’t reschedule. So the children and I spent the day at home. Oh what a beautiful day it turned out to be!

Rather than head to the pool only in the afternoon, we spent all day by the pool. Snacked on grapes and ate leftovers for lunch. Minimum work for me, maximum time with the children!

The children might have had too much time in the sun resulting in restless sleep, but our hearts are so joyful! I guess being in our swim suits all day long, we should expect nothing less!