Sunday, April 1, 2007

A Perfect Day

Despite the long hours, the absence of a paycheck and monotony being an at-home mom can bring, there are moments that validate my decision to be with my children 24/7. Earlier this week I took my daughter on a picnic. As we sat in the shade of a dogwood tree with the tiniest white petals showering down on us like a spring snowstorm, I looked at Madeline, who was happily nibbling on a peanut butter sandwich, and said, "I love being your mommy and spending time with you." She gave me a big grin and then noticed the tiniest ladybug scaling a thin blade of grass. I gently picked up the tiny bug and let Madeline hold it.

"It tickles," she said, giggling.

I noticed the wonderment in her eyes as she watched the tiny creature travel across her hand. The funny thing is, I felt just as amazed by the delicate bug, the beauty of the spring day and the way patches of sunshine warmed us through the dogwood's sprawling branches. I was also infinitely thankful that I could wake up on that beautiful morning and say, "This is the perfect day for a picnic," and then go downstairs, pack a lunch, grab a blanket and take an excited 2-year-old on a lovely outing. I thought of how many moms and dads out there probably would have liked to do the same thing but were stuck inside an office building and could only longingly glance at the frozen snapshots of their children and - if they were lucky enough to have an office with a window - observe spring showing all its splendor through a sheet of glass.

As a busy medical resident, my husband is one of those dads. He called while he was walking to noon conference. It was his only chance to be outside away from the radiology rooms stuck in the gut of a hospital. "What a beautiful day," he said.

"I know. I am so lucky to be able to go on a picnic with Maddy on a day like this," I said. And I am. And I hope I never get too caught up in running errands and keeping tabs on a to-do list that I can't be spontaneous, grab the kids and rest in the shade of a tree and thank God for my children, my family and motherhood.

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