Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Seeing time in a different way

My day today:

6:00 am - wake up with Caleb (James already gone for work)
9:30 am - rush three kids out the door
10:15 am - arrive at the train station in Mississauga
10:45 - 11:15 am - ride the train down one station and then back again
11:30 am - 12:15 pm - lunch at my sister-in-law's, leave Caleb to have a nap
12:15 pm - drive to hospital in Toronto
2:00 pm - arrive at hospital
2:30 pm - appointment at hospital (on time!)
2:50 pm - leave hospital (20 minutes - a first!)
4:00 pm - arrive at sister-in-law's to pick up Caleb (who slept all but 15 minutes we were gone!)
4:05 pm - leave quickly to try and beat rush hours
5:30 pm - have only driven the equivalent of 15 minutes after an hour and a half on the road
5:31 pm - pull off for dinner and to calm crying, hungry children
6:00 pm - back on the road
7:00 pm - arrive home

A careful study of this schedule will reveal we didn't actually get much done today, other than spend 6 and a half hours traveling. Aside from the two 5 minutes train rides (an experience I promised the boys) and the 20 minute appointment (that was less than necessary) the rest of the day was spent driving.

But as a mother I have discovered that it is necessary to see time in a different way than most people. If you judge the productiveness of a day based on how many things you check off of a to-do list, then nearly every day will seem like a failure. But if you look at the productiveness of a day as quality time passed with your children, than every day is a resounding success.

Here's another look at the day, through Colin's eyes:

He got to:
- skip a day of school ("That means I'll be "n'est pas la" today!)
- watch movies in the car
- punch a train ticket
- ride on a real train twice (this has been a promised event for over a year)
- have lunch at his Aunt's apartment
- eat lunch on her couch instead of at the table
- have a huge glass of chocolate milk with lunch
- go on a hunt for Auntie Julia's cats
- drive to Toronto and see the CN Tower and Ontario place (from the van window)
- park underground "in the cave" (he begged me to, instead of parking on the street)
- play with kids at the hospital
- figure out he has a button to open the window
- open and close the window repetitively the whole ride home, because he "needed a little bit of fresh air in here"
- eat at Wendy's
- have a whole bottle of orange juice to himself, with a straw
- get a half of a big donut rather than a timbit
- watch a brand new movie on the way home
- play for 20 whole minutes once he got home, even though it was bedtime

To Colin, this day rocked his world. There were so many new and interesting things he did, and other special treats he only gets once in a while. Colin will likely remember this day for many weeks to come. In the past, after having been out of the house for nearly 10 hours, I would have expected my to-do list to have been decimated, or would have felt exhausted and dejected from having wasted a day accomplishing nothing. Now, I realize that my kids simply want to be with me, spend time with me, share experiences with me. So even a day like this is a success in their eyes, and in my books.

No comments: