Like many women, I am a multi-tasker. I feel a rush of adrenaline whenever I maximize my steps in a way that is particularly efficient. This faculty is especially handy during our school day. I often find myself listening to one child recite while correcting another child's paper . . . swallowing down a cup of tea . . . eye on the clock so Avery makes it to the bathroom on time . . . hearing a piano scale that's a bit sloppy and shouting for it to be done again . . . all at once.
This ability also comes in handy while preparing dinner. You know the drill -- one eye on the clock, the other glancing at the recipe . . . one hand mixing and measuring, the other steadying a child as she scales the counter yet again . . . voice calling for the helper to set the table . . . ear listening for the timer so the delicates can be pulled out of the dryer.
Yes, very efficient. But is it always necessary to be so efficient? Sometimes I wonder. Like when my little Miss Avery Kate is all too aware of mama's multitasking superpower and takes things into her own hands. Literally. I hear her persistent little babbling in the background, I nod and smile when appropriate, while my hands and eyes busy themselves with other tasks.
But that's not what she wants. Her little pink hand firmly cups my cheek and she turns my face. She wants to look into my eyes, to know that I'm listening. A distracted nod and smile do not communicate attention. She needs to know that what she's saying is important to her mama. And mama needs to know that, too.
Perhaps multitasking is overrated. Perhaps it's time to slow things down a bit and just look. I'm pretty sure that I'm gonna love what I see.