I worked like a crazy woman, sweat beading and heart rate accelerating. My husband was home on his lunch break, stacking sandwiches and coaxing littles to stay put while apples were chomped and raisins were inhaled. (I’m so in love with him, truly.) I stormed the house with dust spray and cloth, broom and mop, laundry basket and bucket… clearing out the bunnies lurking on and under every surface and moving mountains of towels and t-shirts and tiny cotton socks.
My speed and determination was nothing short of a miracle. (I’m not one of those ladies that likes cleaning, God bless them.)
Forty-five minutes later with wisps of hair stuck to the sides of my damp face I tucked babies into bed and whispered a prayer that they’d rest easy. (And long.)
And then I bathed in it: glorious clean encased in glorious quiet.
Maybe it was extra sweet that day because I was well aware it would only last for fleeting moments before somebody spills milk or stomps dirt or crumbles crackers or scatters dinosaurs. But that day I needed it – to feel a calm around me that could match the calm within.
It was so quiet I dared not sleep – a negligent waste of the alone.
Is it wrong that my favorite time of day is this one – this one quiet and still and utterly alone?
It’s not my favorite moment. That one is morning kisses or “mommy look!” or bedtime prayers or squeals of “daddy’s home!” while running to the door at lightning pace with squabbles left behind.
Yes those are my favorite moments – the ones burned into my memory and sometimes even seared by the click of a shutter or the plink of the keyboard.
But my favorite time? That’s when the babies sleep, the husband works, the phone goes on silent, the email disabled, the notifications turned off, the lists swept aside.
My favorite time is my refill time – refilling my cup and readying me for more of my hard work and, yes, my favorite moments too.
Because the filling comes not only after the emptying but also in the emptying itself, yet my mistake is that I often think the emptying is only the pouring out, the serving. And to serve is noble and needed and never beneath a mother’s radar… but the emptying must also sometimes mean the clearing of the mind and letting go of the burden and releasing of the never-ending must-be-done and relinquishing the agenda.
Sometimes the emptying actually comes within the surrender.
And then there is room to be filled again.
So hear my confession–my declaration–dear, sweet mama-friends who work so hard and labor over loving littles so well: I have no shame in admitting that my favorite time is naptime. And I’m reclaiming it.
I think it’s about time. For everyone’s sake.
Dear friends, I have not been purposeful about refill time for a long time now and my entire life has suffered because of it – mind, body, soul, spirit, and relationships. Since losing Scarlett I’ve begun determining to make changes, build margin like never before, and carve out naptimes for more than BUSY WORK. It’s been a while now and it’s making a huge difference in my life. So are you with me? Want to reclaim naptimes together?? (Not selfishly, but holistically.) Seriously, let’s do this.