It's rare that I get a good chunk of time with just one of them, so I have to take small moments, anywhere I can get them.
The other night, my girls went with my niece to choose & order their bridesmaid dresses for her wedding. John and Tim were at work, so this left me and Andrew at home by ourselves. Shortly after they left, he came up to me and just started talking. Right away he mentioned the situation going on with his biological mother (a.k.a. the egg donor). It was obvious that it was weighing heavily on his mind and he needed to talk about it. I listened to him, and reassured him as much as I could. He seemed to feel better, and went off to play the Wii. It was just a short conversation, but those are the times that I have to take when I can get them.
That same night after the girls got home, Elayna was tired and grouchy, but didn't want to go to bed. Andrew was already asleep, and Shelbie had a friend over and they were doing karaoke in another room. Elayna laid down on the couch with her head on my lap, and I slowly ran my fingers through her hair, and stroked her head, until she was so sleepy she could barely stumble into her room. A very brief and simple thing, but a cherished moment.
The next day, Shelbie and I were talking at dinner and realized we needed a few things from the store. I decided that she and I would make a quick trip after dinner, just the two of us. Usually even for quick trips, it's the whole family or at least three kids tagging along. But occasionally, just the Teenager and I get a chance to sneak off on our own, and I love it. We laugh and tease each other. I lock her out of the car and embarrass her. And we talk. Again....a short space of time. But one that I can't take for granted. She is 15 and still wants to be seen with me. She is 15 and still likes to go places with me. She is 15 and will be grown before I know it. I have to grab these moments while I can.
And then there's Tim. Tim will be eighteen next month. He is a senior in high school. And he lives primarily with his Dad; he's with me every other week from Thursday - Monday. He has a job at a burger place. So, time with him is even harder to come by than it is with the other three. One thing that works to my advantage is being a night owl. He works late hours sometimes on the weekends, and I'm always up when he gets home, and often the only one up. We talk about anything and everything, from life in general to crazy things that happened at work. He has always had this gift of asking me questions that I either have to really think about the answer for, or have never thought of myself, or have no idea how to even answer them. He still does that. This kid makes me THINK. And then I throw something back at him that makes him think, or look at something from a different angle. We may not always agree, but we generally respect each others' opinions. We debate. And we make each other laugh. A few late night moments....and we make the most of them.
I hope I'm always able to at least have these little moments, grabbed here and there, with my kids. Where it's just the two of us, and we talk, or we listen, or we don't talk at all. I'll never outgrow it....I hope they don't either.
*Note* I did it! I blogged every day in February for NaBloPoMo! I'm so proud of myself. Don't be concerned if I take a few days off! If we get any news re: Elayna's thumb I'll update on Facebook. She's going to the orthopedic doc tomorrow.