peeling paint next to me

It was dark and rainy yesterday afternoon, which is the perfect weather in my opinion for sneaking off to be by myself for a little bit. I relish alone time, but rarely – if ever – get it.

I grabbed my notebook, my planner, my computer, and I quietly snuck away. I was going to crank out a few blog posts that have been churning in my head. The posts were all things I’ve been thinking about as a mom in this season – the words I use, patience, teaching my kids to be thinkers & leaders….just stuff rolling around in my brain.

I opened the windows to hear the rain, took a seat, opened my laptop and began to soak up the quiet serenity. And then the door opened.

And then it opened again.

And again.

Within 5 minutes of starting my alone time I had three kids surrounding me at the table. I watched as they started peeling paint (something I started doing to the tables last week) and chose to laugh instead of sigh. Laughing is pretty much always better than sighing anyway.  I snapped a photo on my phone using the timer because this is what alone time looks like in this season of life for me. I’ll want to remember this.

About half an hour later, the other two joined us. For the rest of my ‘alone time’ my five kids strolled in and out of the room. Asking questions. Telling stories. Peeling paint. They weren’t playing games, coloring, creating or even doing anything really. They followed me over simply to be in the same room with me – even if it meant peeling paint just to be at my table.

I could have asked them to leave or told them I was needing ‘alone time’. They would have respected that and gone about doing other things somewhere else. Some days that is what I choose to do, but for whatever reason on this day – I was seeing things differently.

For me the biggest challenge in homeschooling is also my most favorite part – I am with my kids ALL THE TIME. When I sneak away – they follow. There are days I tell myself I need solitude and can get grumpy if I don’t get what I think I need. True – quiet breaks are so good for me (and goodness do parents need a break!), but sometimes I tell myself I need it and then circumstances prevent me from getting it. When that happens what am I going to do with that? Sulk and pout or see the gift I’ve been given?

I’m in a season that I have chosen certain lifestyle options that mean I have constant companionship in the form of my kids. I can either focus on what I don’t get and it quickly leads to a downward spiral in our home OR I can celebrate and soak up what I do get – kids that want to be with me, kids that like me.

I think everyone wants to feel loved and wanted. Sometimes being a mom it is easy to focus on the reality that my kids need me and I lose sight of the simple fact that they like me and WANT to be with me. It is pretty awesome to be loved like that. I may not get to sit in the rain alone, but I do get to sit with a group of people that know ALL my shortcomings, failures, moods and mistakes – and they still like me enough to want to be with me?! Not getting alone time is pretty incredible when I look at it like that. So much of life is simply a matter of how we choose to look at our circumstances.

I’ve got 5 people in my life that think I’m so great they’ll peel paint just to be next to me. It is extraordinary to be loved like that….


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