I’ve been “MIA” (from here) the last week or so — and no, I’m not about to start one of those, “Sorry, I’ve been gone from this space” posts — I’m celebrating! I’ve been soaking up some sun, some fun, and some delicious family time in between the otherwise busy, task-oriented uses of my life-minutes. And it has just been feeling so good and so right to stay and stay and stay in the living of these moments that I haven’t wanted to take myself out long enough to narrate it, or theorize about it.
Then I got to thinking…
This (and this and this) is what “it” is all about. Being eyeball-deep in these moments, enjoying every available bliss to its fullest — whether its waiting for Echo to catch up to us on the river trail, or listening to every word of Xi’s treatise on crawfish, or holding my breath as Izabella spins and dives, or any of the other endless stream of momentary events in our lives — being absolutely present with them is the point, both in having these particular moments in the first place, and in allowing ourselves to get the most out of any one of them.
It’s strange and typical that so many of us parents get caught up in thinking of the moments when we don’t have kids with us as the moments on which to focus, and which to savor, and enjoy. There seems to be this parenting myth which says when we are “on duty” we can’t enjoy ourselves, we can’t have fun, we can’t reap the benefits of our place and time. We’re on duty. We have to watch the borders and guard the inmates. We have to be serious and focused on doing everything we have to do and doing it right. Right?
I get caught up too. I think too much about parenting. I think too much about what else I need to accomplish in the day while I am also being a parent. I think too much about thinking too much. And in those moments, I feel tired. I get worn out so quickly when I am trying too hard to juggle the endless array and infinite list of tasks available to me, and the necessary flexibility and attention of parenting the way I want to parent, and my feelings about it all, and my concerns, and the faux-parental voice in my head chastising me for not being further along or better at or more obviously exemplifying some unspoken ideals. That burns me out in seconds.
On the other hand, after a day of keeping close to the second, of being in patience, of choosing to steep in every second my girls offer me to be present, I am more alive than when I began. I feel refreshed. I feel super-powered. I “get a million things done”, effortlessly juggling the endless assortment of things and situations flowing toward me, and all because I have left my concern about getting a million things done and turned instead toward getting a million moments lived. And the living of these beautiful moments recharges me in a way that no amount of rest or relaxation or sense of staying on task ever could otherwise.
So I’ve been recharging my batteries. I’ve been staying extra long to wait, and to listen, and to hold my breath. In fact, I’ve got to get back now for more of that. I hope you get yours, too.