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What’s More Important Than This?

Author: Jessica Woolwine
Published Date: Tuesday, October 24, 2017

I took Jackson and Abby to the bus stop like I do every morning—backpacks, lunchboxes, kisses, hugs and waves goodbye.

Today’s only a half day of school. I’m working from home and man, is my to-do list long. I’m thinking three steps ahead. I’m so distracted by the amount of work I need to do in a shortened period of time. I’m not present.

I glance at Henry in his stroller as he calls out, “bye-bye” to his siblings and looks at me with mischievous eyes. He’s ready to play with Mommy.

It brings me into the present.

Henry, I don’t have time for adventure! I have a conference call in an hour. I need to return emails and check on a bill. There’s an insurance question I need to clear up. I’ve got to pack you and your brother and sister for a weekend at Daddy’s house. The dog needs breakfast. There’s a load of laundry that needs to be switched over. The dishes need to be unloaded; the dishwasher reloaded. Mommy hasn’t showered yet!

I look down at his blues eyes and feet swinging, his sweet little hands resting on the tray. Behind his pacifier is a hint of a smile.

Like a ton of bricks, it hits me: what is more important than this?

Is it laundry? Calling on a bill? Packing or emailing? All those things can wait an hour. At the end of the day, will I look back at this moment and be happy with my choice to get as much done as possible? No.

Instead of making a U-turn and heading home to work, Henry and I set out for an adventure.

We stroll on the path and then … we go off the path.

We stop at the playground and when he’s adamant he wants to swing backwards … we swing backwards.

The slides are still wet from a nighttime shower; I let him slide anyway. His shorts are completely wet and he’s grinning from ear to ear.

On the way home, he decides he wants to sit in the back of the stroller instead of the front, and so the back it is.

Within half a mile from the house, Henry decides he wants to push the stroller himself … so that’s what we do.

We look at the leaves. Stop and watch the airplanes fly. As he climbs back into the stroller for the last time, he looks at me with loving eyes. I know for certain that his look is a reflection of mine. We’re both relaxed. Content. Eyes twinkling.

What’s more important than this?

Absolutely nothing.

About Jessica Woolwine

Jessica Woolwine is a native of Hampton Roads and lives in Hampton with her three “miracles” Jackson (9), Abby (5) and Henry (1). As a mother to a childhood cancer survivor and a micro-preemie, she began the blog Mothering Miracles in 2014 to support other families dealing with health issues. Jessica also works as Creative Director for Rubin Communications Group and enjoys mixing her talents for graphic design and creative writing with community relations. She is a past member of both the CHKD Family Advisory Council and the CHKD NICU Family Advisory Council.