Every night, the same. My 7-year-old starts the following sequence, in rapid-fire succession:
K: Love you more than you love me!
K: Love you more than Sprite!
me: Love you more than coke (zero)!
both of us together: PLUNGE (with an exploding hand motion)
K: Love you more than hearts!
me: Love you more than stars!
K: Love you to the moon and farther!
Then we hug and kiss and then blow kisses and hugs at the door and finally part for the night. Every night. Sometimes it's rote to me, and sometimes I even feel impatient -- I have a long list of things to do still - can we hurry things along a bit?
But when I'm not feeling so rushed or tired, I relish these moments. All of the "one more hug, mom" (from all three of my youngest kids), "sleep with me for just a minute" and "I love you so much, mommy" - this is the good stuff. I may have a long list to finish downstairs every night, but nothing is more important than those moments at bedtime with my sweet babes.
I recently read a quote by C.S. Lewis -- "Children are not a distraction from more important work. They are the most important work." Yes! Yes! How often we forget the work God assigned to us in the gifts of our children. How often I put other things I think are important in front of playing with, talking to or even cuddling with my children.
Laundry, dishes, cleaning, work. . .it'll all be there tomorrow and the next day. But little ones who want to cuddle and have a love fest will grow up before I know it (I know this from experience - my two older ones aren't inclined to sit on my lap anymore!). I think I'll make a renewed effort to remember my most important work - loving my children.