"Go ahead, Baby. You read to Mama."
I told my 3 year old to go grab a book while we took a quiet moment on the front porch swing while the older kids were at school and the baby was napping.
I literally heard myself sigh as we sat down as it was probably my first "sit down" I had in the last 4-5 hours.
I had my phone on my lap and as my daughter began to tell me her version of the story as she sifted through the pictures, I immediately thought, I'm just going to reply to a few emails and maybe scroll my newsfeed quickly.
And then as she turned the page, her tiny dimples in her hands caught my eye. Her little hand still seemed small enough for me to cup it in my own and that made my heart feel full and begin to hurt at the same time.
How many more times would I have with her on this swing, just she and I, without the distractions of her siblings or our family's chaotic schedule?
How many more times would I just be able to savor her - staring at her messy hair laying perfectly over her glistened forehead, looking more and more blonde from the sun?
How many more times would I get to rub those precious arms that still had some of that perfect, baby chub on them that were slightly sunburnt as we have spent every last waking hour the past few days outside, learning to ride her bike without training wheels?
How many more times would she find the nook, as she leaned into my side and seemed to have never found a spot so comfortable and safe at the same time?
How many more times would I be able to chuckle as I stare down at those painted nails done by her, as she insisted that she is a big girl and able to do it herself?
How many more times would I hear that heartwarming baby voice that pronounced so many words incorrectly, yet was able to make her point so effectively?
How many more times would I share with her, as she stopped to have us sit in silence to hear God's birds chirping and then to flash me her million dollar smile, saying, "You're my best friend, Mommy!" ?
I almost would have missed this, all of this, and I have to wonder all of the "how many mores" that have passed by me.
Sometimes when we unplug, we need to - we must - totally disconnect and be fully in the moment.
It is true that some of the greatest tasks get accomplished when we are doing the least.
You can follow Long at The Real Deal of Parenting