I spent more hours than I care to remember worrying that I would miss something as a working mom. I hadn’t realized how much I would want to be home, or just how quickly it all goes. I’ve learned to make things happen for myself, whether it’s been to negotiate the ability to work from home part time or setting aside the laundry to go outside and pick clovers. We’ve only got these girls once and I am determined to make it count.

The other day we were outside, the girls were toddling around on the patio while I watered the plants. Briar was flitting about picking buds from the edges of the mums while Avery shadowed me wanting to drink from the hose. We’d been outside for about ten minutes when I bent down and handed Avery the hose, kinking the rubber to slow the flow while she held it with delight in front of her face. Droplets of water clung to her eyelashes and the heaviness made her shake her head giggling. I looked over at Briar, as she knelt beneath our butterfly bush. Two butterflies were dancing overhead and I called out to her, “Briar, honey, look at the butterflies! They’re dancing with you!”

She stood up slowly and looked around, at first the butterflies started to fly away and the three of us watched them, disappointed. Briar lifted one hand as Avery whispered, “Buh-fly” and they came back, fluttering in and toward Briar and then back up. For several minutes she stood beneath the bush while those butterflies flirted with her. Avery waved the hose and drops of water sent the blossoms on the bush bouncing.

It was a moment I would have missed if I hadn’t stopped to kneel and play.