As I get closer to opening up my new store I concerned about a lot of things. The main one though is how I am going to juggle two stores and still be a good mom to Dotty. I know the new store will take up a lot of my time especially in the beginning but I don't want Dotty to suffer because I am trying to be successful in business. On the other hand...I want Dotty to know that in order to be successful in business you have to work hard.
It is a double edged sword for me.
My only consolation comes from knowing that it isn't quantity that matters but rather quality...and prioritizing the important things in life makes adding quality to it a lot easier.
This past Saturday Dotty and I spent a hour snuggling in bed watching cartoons...then we hung our plastic pumpkins in the tree outside our house...then we went and got our nails painted together. The whole time we spent together awake on Saturday was only about 6 hours then Dotty went to spend the rest of the day with Tony, Brittany, and Dylann.
Six hours doesn't seem long but we did a lot during that time.
We snuggled. We hugged. We smiled. We laughed. We carried on a Halloween tradition. We did girlie things. We kissed. We said I love you. We talked about the past, present, and future.
We made our time count.
It wasn't a large quantity of time but it was quality time.
Just the other day a friend of mine who just had a sweet baby boy and I were talking about how hard it is to leave kiddos of any age...but most of us have to do it. She was talking about how by the time she gets home from work it will only be a few hours before it is bath time and bed time for her little bundle of joy. I could sympathize with her because I remembered what it was like to leave Dotty the first time I had to go back to work. I cried the whole way to the Pecan Shed. But luckily even then I knew it was about quality...not quantity.
When Tony and I split up and we started sharing time with Dotty it hit me even more so how much I need to cherish the time I do have with Dotty. And now as I stand just weeks away from yet another big step in my life I have to realize that while my time might be limited with Dotty...the moments shared and the memories made are really unlimited.
Dotty won't remember how many hours I was home before she went to bed. But she will remember that we read stories and we said prayers and I sang her to sleep.
Dotty won't remember what we had for dinner. But she will remember how we sat at the table and talked about what she did at school and what was on her mind.
Dotty won't remember the Saturdays I had to work. But she will remember the Saturday mornings we spent watching princess movies and eating popcorn at 8am.
Dotty won't remember the nights I came home exhausted. But she will remember that she fell asleep in my arms.
Dotty won't remember the mornings I was up before 5am trying to get everything done. But she will remember how we talked in the car on the way to school instead of always just listening to the radio.
Dotty won't remember how I had to kill myself to make it to her school functions and her sporting events. But she will remember that I was there...always.
Quality matters. I may not know who wins the Voice. I may not see my friends as much. I may not ever see any movie above a PG rating for the next 5 years. But my kid will know that she was more important to me than all of that combined times a million.
I can't be with my child every night or every morning. A part of me hates that. But the nights and mornings I can be there will be good ones...for both Dotty and me.
Because when it all comes down to how Dotty remembers her childhood 20 years from now I hope she will remember that I was there...I was present...I was in the moment. I hope she remembers more of "what was" than "what wasn't". I hope she remembers the hugs, the kisses, the laughs, the giggles, the snuggles, the bedtime stories, the talks, the silly dances, the traditions...I hope she remembers the memories...the moments...that we made...and I hope she loves and cherishes them as much as I will.
I may not have a lot of children (quantity) but I have one really great one (quality) and I plan to make the most of every moment with her.