My husband was running late for work, the baby was teething, and my four year old had just woken up on the wrong side of the bed. I was trying to sooth her, pacify the baby, read my morning devotion, work my home-based business, and make it past half a cup of coffee before it turned totally cold. My husband gave me a quick kiss and a “have a good day, baby,” before depositing his kisses to our three children under six years of age.
I looked up and watched him as he gathered his keys and other pocket items before heading out the door. I stood suddenly, went to him, and then took him warmly into my arms.
“I’ll miss you,” I whispered.
When I had first hugged him I had felt the tenseness of his body that went along with rushing out the door, but as I held him in a close embrace it’s like I felt his muscles release and relax. He sank into me, accepting the much-needed touch, and I felt the love emanate from him in an almost palpable way. That hug was the best thing I could have done at that moment, and the response of his body leaning into mine let me know it felt wonderful to him too.
Sometimes you just need to take the time for a hug. Not the perfunctory, obligatory kind, but the honest-to-goodness, “I’m melting into you because I adore you” kinda hug.
I’m a very busy woman, but very often before I go to bed I gaze at my firstborn daughter as she sleeps and I’m stunned. When did she get so long, and when did her face stop looking like a chubby little girl, and instead start resembling the lovely young woman she’s becoming? It seems like just yesterday I rode in the back of the car beside her rear-facing car seat because I worried she couldn’t hold her head up and might suffocate if not in my line of sight!
The thing about this child is she talks and talks. About everything. She’s full of questions, but also ideas. Sometimes when I just want peace and quiet, or even to listen to the radio, she will interrupt my thoughts with constant chatter like a tiny bird. I’ll listen. I’ll take the time to really listen because I know one day, not that far from now, I may be begging for more conversation than just an “I’m fine.”
Sometimes you need to savor the corny jokes and repeated callings of your name.
“I love you.”
I love that she says it all the time. I savor it.
When my four year old wants to cuddle in my lap upon first waking, or when my toddler mumbles “hold me” with outstretched arms, I take the time. There’s some things you just have to take the time to do.
Hugs. Lots and lots of hugs. Real hugs, cuddling hugs, crying hugs, dirty hugs, sweaty hugs, and even whiny hugs.
You take the time to let your spouse know how much you care. You take the time to watch your children play at the park, or sit through the silly skit they just made up. You take the time to say you’re sorry, and especially to say, “I love you too.” You take the time to notice the people around you that you love, and you take the time to let them know how precious they are to you. None of tomorrow is promised to us, so you take the time to make today count, in all the little ways.
You take the time to enjoy a cool breeze that comes at just the right moment, or how wonderful it feels when your partner brushes against you in a crowded kitchen. You take the time to appreciate the most marvelous of sunsets, but also the most simple of silly songs made up by your preschooler. You take the time to dance before dinner, to play airplane before bed, and to sit, even silently, enjoying the presence of your spouse in the same room.
There’s so many things in this busy, chaotic world that demand our time, but truly our time is best spent on the things and people that matter most to us. Those things should never be neglected. You have to take the time for them while you still can.