Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Repeat (01/24/13)
TITLE: Play It Again, Mom
By Glynis Becker
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Charlie had climbed up next to me on the couch. The book I was already holding, the former bestseller that I'd only successfully read through chapter three, was put aside, somewhat longingly, I admit, although I had no choice but to smile at my sweet little guy. How I loved that messy hair and sticky face! Was there any way I could say 'no'? He smiled back at me, giving himself permission to crawl into my lap, his elbows digging into my sides and his feet kicking my legs as he squirmed to get a comfortable seat.
“Ready?” I asked as I leaned down and kissed the top of his head. He nodded and I began. His high-pitched toddler voice joined mine in that sing-song way of children as we chanted together this rhyming book we both knew so well.
And when we were done, we read it again.
* * * * * *
“Will you play with me?”
The box he held in his chubby hands had so much masking tape the name of the game had long ago been obscured. Charlie loved this matching game. The pieces were almost worn out. Some were bent into odd shapes and because we'd played so often, even the backsides of the pieces were dead giveaways to me. I had to make sure not to win too easily, for Charlie's sake. I could probably have matched them all up backwards and upside-down with my eyes closed and hands tied behind by my back.
How I wished we could play something else, something new. But I kept the sigh to myself and instead, smiled and grabbed the box to help Charlie lay out the pieces. Again.
* * * * * *
“Turn it back, Mommy. I want to hear that song again.”
The traffic was at a complete stand-still in both lanes. All I wanted to do was get home before the groceries spoiled in my hot car. I was tired and hungry and I thought I might go crazy if I had to listen to “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” another time. Charlie usually loved this entire CD, but for some reason today all he wanted was that one song. That one, boring, repetitive, mindless song.
I took a deep breath and prayed for patience while I hit the button to play the song again.
That's when from somewhere deep within me a calm voice reminded: “You can handle this. These days are long, but you won't get these chances again. Enjoy the moments together, while he wants to spend this time with you. Read that book again. Make him the same dinner if it's healthy and he likes it. Play that mind-numbing game again. Love him over and over because you don't get to repeat these days once they're gone.”
I smiled. Isn't it funny how parenting is really a one-time only repeat performance?
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