Can You Pause For That?


As I gather tomorrow’s little lunch extras (a fresh apple, Greek yogurt, a granola bar), my brother hurries into the kitchen from the back door, excitedly informing our mother of his news.

“I really want to show you my airplane, Mom! Can you pause for that?”

Our mother listens as she washes the dishes.

Her day has been nothing but full: a cup of coffee and Bible study before reminding Reagan of routines and chores he’s somehow managed to forget once again, keeping up with the housework and squeezing in a run, hurriedly showering, preparing the laundry room to be repainted, heading to Lowe’s to search for a new washer and dryer due to ours giving up last week, grocery shopping for the tastes of four, preparing dinner, and now cleaning the kitchen. While I have been writing papers and attending classes, she has been keeping our home kind and our meals planned. Her tasks have been tasks that won’t bring much glory. She knows this, yet she doesn’t let it stop her from asking us what type of snack we might want at the grocery store or what color notebook we’d like to replace the ones that we’ve written in completely. The thanks she’ll receive will be small but will most likely come along with a hug or two. I admire her, and I pay attention, knowing that my mother’s daughter might one day buy fresh apples for a daughter, her own.

Our mother scrubs and rinses; I look at her as she directs her focus his way—his passionate, contrary, extraordinary, loving, ornery way. Then I hear my brother’s question once more, a simple request that causes me to set down my lunch bag and pay attention.

“I really want to show you my airplane, Mom! Can you pause for that?”

Pause. He’s asked her to pause. My brother has done something that he is proud of, and he wants to show our mother. He’s asking her to leave the work her hands are committed to, the final step of the many faceted endeavor that is family dinnertime, and go with him to see what he’s made. I realize that even his question shows the growing up he’s been doing lately, using a word like pause. Yet what is he wants is for our mother to watch a piece of paper with him, a piece that he’s folded in such a way that it may lift for a few seconds, and fly with the breeze.

I see a moment with meaning: a question with an opportunity for a Mama-moment that can facilitate quality time and imagination and a soft sigh that makes the work of the day worthwhile. I almost hold my breath and, as I do, look up. I see the feet of my mother, the feet she’s hardly sat down to rest all day, leave the dishes behind to follow her son outdoors.

On our deck, I join Reagan and our mom. I want to practice saying yes to a young heart when my feet are aching and my tasks are still waiting. I see him sweetly kiss her before exclaiming, “Let’s see how it goes!” This moment lets him express his curiosity, and I’m thankful, thankful that he can play in the midst of approaching an older version of himself.

I watch my brother’s paper airplane follow the wind across the whole backyard, just what he wanted to show to our mother a few moments before.  

I see the two of them raise their hands to celebrate, and I know she is thankful too.


Today, I write alone. One day I may write between trips to the grocery store, I may scribble while attempting to feed my youngest, or after a discouraging day of potty training. One day, I may write between my husband’s kisses after work, an intended meal that never made it from the cookbook to the stove, a terrible guilt after yelling at my children—the little ones that I hope for and pray for already. I pray for the marriage their father and I will vow to cherish, pray that we will hold them with gratitude and wonder and unity, pray that we should always instruct them in the ways of truth. One day, I may journal their first words and their favorite colors, and I may carry one in a swaddle and two by the hand on an evening walk during golden hour. One day, I may write with my children giggling on the floor under my feet, with them in the spaces of my head that crave quiet even now, the quiet I will miss later. But today, I sit in my room that’s just mine, and I rest the body that has yet to bring forth the newness of life. So much of who I am is focused on my own needs and wants, and I know that in hoping for children, I’m hoping that one day, all of that will change.

Today, I am thankful for the quiet.

One day, if I should be blessed with a son, may I be thankful when he asks me to pause.

One day, may I be willing to leave behind the dishes, my writing, my quiet, to see the flight of a handmade paper airplane.

Guest post written by Caroline Lockman. Caroline is a sixteen-year-old high school student living in South Carolina. She adores simplicity and everyday adventures and believes that breakfast is always a win—regardless of the time of day.

Photo By: Ashley Glass Photography