Tuesday, June 17, 2008

On base

Not a big, earth-shattering post here... but just what I've been thinking about all afternoon.

Remember playing tag when you were little?

Fantastic game... the thrill of running as fast as you can, that slight fear when you realized you were going to get caught, and the sheer simplicity of it all -- you run, get tagged, and then you get to chase someone else.

Still, every now and then, it got a bit too much. You couldn't run anymore, or the adrenaline was pumping and stressing you out more than you could handle, and so you found refuge --

on base.

Didn't matter what it was: an old stump, a doorpost, a tree, or the bumper of the family car. Once you were there, you were safe. Nothing could touch you, and you could calm down, or catch your breath, until you were ready to join the game again.

I noticed that I fulfill that function for my children.

I am "base."

It's easy to see with the younger kids, of course. Grace is, at 8 months, a crawling maniac (I don't call her "monkey" for nothing!) She is unstoppable -- getting into, crawling over, and tearing apart everything. With that level of activity, her little brain gets overloaded and she needs frequent (OK, almost constant at times) returns to "base" until she feels safe enough (and calm enough) to go out and explore some more.

Marie also needs frequent returns to base. She grabs her blanket, finds my lap, and snuggles down until she's ready to face the world again.

But I was just more aware today, I suppose, of how much my other kids still need me in that role as well, from Thomas, who needs every boo-boo inspected and duly noted... to Christopher, who needs to have his grievances heard... to the older kids, who come find me every half hour or so just to "report in" and tell me what they've been up to (although in our small house, it would be hard for me NOT to know).

And it just made me smile.

It's easy for me to get so frustrated with ALL of the interruptions: crying baby, fussy toddler, and older kids who come in with every complaint, request, and story you can think of; however, today I was aware that they were simply running to be "on base," and I felt privileged.


Melissa said...

Thank you for a new perspective on this. Sometimes at the end of the day, as we sit down to dinner, I find myself frustrated that everyone is still saying "mom!" I think, 'what more could they have to say, we've been together ALL day. But now I can realize that they are just touching base and feeling safe. I appreciate the shift in thinking.

Abigail said...

This is such a beautiful post! Last night was a rough night with my little one needing to "touch base" many times in the midst of teething pain. Thank goodness, I get to "touch base" with the Eucharist this morning. I'll let the kids touch base with me, and then when I feel out tired from our tag game, I'll remind myself to touch base with our Blessed Mother myself!

Ouiz said...

Thank you both for such wonderful comments!

Melissa, I know it helped *me* tremendously to have that shift in thinking.

Abigail, thank you for taking it further and reminding me that just as they run to base with me, I need to run to the Lord as well! What a brilliant observation!