Mornings in our house are always hurried. We have it down to a science and normally get out of the house with everyone dressed, bags & laptops packed, etc., but there is not much wiggle room in our routine for anything extra.
Robby usually walks out of the house with Sabrina just a few minutes before Catherine and I leave. Before Catherine had her cast, she walked down the stairs with me while I held her hand and we counted the steps (there are 14).
One day Catherine sat down half way down the stairs and told me to sit down with her. Because of her history of incessant vomiting, my first thought was that she would need to throw up. Over the last six months or so, she has gotten better about knowing she was going to vomit a few minutes (or seconds) before she did and sometimes giving us some warning.
I feared that she was going to throw up as we were leaving the house (which happened a lot). If she did, then I would have to change her clothes, clean her off, possibly give her a whole bath, clean the stairs, and possibly change my clothes too. There have been many mornings when we have had to add to our already tight schedule everything you have to do to deal with a young child vomiting. At least she wasn't in the car seat; that can get very messy!
So, instead of sitting down next to Catherine like she asked, I asked her if she was going to throw up. She said no. I rephrased the question: Does your tummy hurt? Are you sick? Are you going to vomit? Are you in pain? No matter how I asked the question, the answers were all no. She just sat there on the step, in the middle of the stairwell, and patted the step and said "Sit down, Mommy."
So I did. She took my hand in her little tiny hands and said in her cute, delicate voice "Mommy, you are my friend." Oh, the thoughts that rushed through my head!!
What made her decide to say that this morning? Why now? What prompted this moment? Did her school have a lesson about friends yesterday? Did I do something especially nice to her last night? Did she have some kind of dream about me?
As is often the case, Satan took control of my thoughts for a few moments and I thought "Is Catherine about to die? Is this moment of extreme tenderness, which in some ways seems so beyond her years, a sign?" Thankfully, I have gotten good over the last two years had shutting Satan out of my thought life.
I wanted to just remember the moment and preserve its tenderness, without fear and worry. I wanted the moment to be just a Pause on the Stairs in an otherwise hectic, routine morning. So I silenced Satan's voice and focused on gratitude.
I know to squeeze value out of every second I can. I know that when your daughter tells you "Mommy, you are my friend," my heart should rejoice. There are so many women who have never heard the word "Mommy." There are so many mothers who will not hear the word "Mommy" anymore. I am blessed that Catherine interrupted our hurried walk down the stairs and out the door to honor me with such an affirmation.