A Moment In Time

When my first baby was born, my father would come to visit so I could ‘get things done.’  He would sit for hours, rocking my infant daughter to her heart’s content – and his.  I would dash around them cleaning, cooking, and running errands.  Knowing that my baby was loved and cared for, I reveled in my productivity.

I cherished these stints of freedom to catch up – until the day I stopped for a rest and really saw the two of them.  Plopping down on a couch next to my baby and her grandfather, I noticed the joy between them.  With nowhere to go and nothing to do, the pair of them were free to just love each other – to experience the peace of a moment spent together in silence.  I envied my father as I convinced myself that this was a benefit reserved for retired grandparents and not for busy mothers.

Several years and a couple of children later, my youngest daughter, now 8, finds me lying on the floor stretching a tight muscle.  Quickly noticing a rare opportunity, she throws herself onto the floor next to me and sneaks in for a cuddle.  A previous version of me wants to peel her off and set her back on track for the harried morning routine.  But the ‘Live Like You’re Dying’ version of me cuts off the drill sargent in my head with a reminder, ‘Enjoy it! You may not get another chance!’

So I sink into the moment.  Wrapping my arms around my sweet girl, I whisper, “It’s so easy to love you.”  She squeezes me tighter and plants a kiss.  A flood of love engulfs us.  We lay like this in suspended animation.  Time becomes irrelevant.  Life becomes only this moment.

Eventually, voices of the family remind us that the clock has not, in fact, stopped and the school bus waits for no one.  Searching for a delicate way to break our bond, I say to my daughter, “If we stay here coveting each other then all the people who were meant to benefit from our presence in their day will miss us.  They won’t get to share the gift of you and me today.  We need to spread our love around.  We need to do what we’re meant to do.”  Without pause, without doubt, my daughter trumps my logic with her own wisdom.  “Mom,” she replies, “THIS is what we’re meant to do.”

Yes, baby, it is.  How are you, at eight years old, so wise?  And I, at the tender age of 42, am just learning these lessons that you know so well?  With regret, I review the scant amount of times I’ve stopped long enough for a child to slip into my arms.  I feel actual pain in my chest when I recall visions of me dragging a child by the hand with quickening steps.  I shudder as I hear scripts play back in my head, ‘Let’s go. Not now. No time. HURRY!’

I could drown myself in sadness over lost moments.  Instead, I vow to change.  Never a day will go by that I don’t offer a hug or ask for a kiss or speak the love words.  Never again will I be unapproachable to a child.  Never, will I miss the fullness of a moment spent in stillness.

11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Rachel Macy Stafford
    Apr 30, 2012 @ 14:44:25

    Absolutely beautiful. I can relate so painfully to every single eloquent word you wrote. Thank you for this powerful reminder, my new friend.

    http://www.handsfreemama.com

    Reply

  2. Sacha
    May 01, 2012 @ 03:45:29

    Absolutely stunning. Your words, your heart, your weaving of the precious truth is so darn delightful and inspiring.

    Reply

  3. Roberta Eck
    May 17, 2012 @ 17:03:19

    This article should cause us all tho pause and reflect on just how we do spend our time. Thank you for sharing. So well written!!

    Reply

  4. Jacqui
    May 17, 2012 @ 17:56:14

    I was 42 when our sixth child was born. With five children close in age, you don’t always have the luxury of enjoying them! The last one was different – I savoured every moment. Our house is dusty, we often dine on frozen pizza, but I have learned what is really important in life. She graduates from high school this year.

    Reply

  5. Anne @ Domesblissity
    May 17, 2012 @ 22:26:44

    Just lovely. xx

    Reply

  6. Melody Harris
    May 18, 2012 @ 00:19:19

    Great writing – I thoroughly enjoyed….and I’m not even a mother! 🙂

    Reply

  7. Angie
    May 18, 2012 @ 16:29:51

    I understand where you are coming from, which is why I work at a daycare but only 3 days a week, my daughter sees me constantly, and which is why she will be home schooled. There is no time to love them strong enough it seems. When they are 5 we ship them off to school, until they’re 18 we see them from what 5 pm – 9 pm ? weekends we are busy and so are they, then there is college. Then marriage. So we really only get 5 years of enjoyment. Too short.

    Reply

  8. Kim Jolly
    May 21, 2012 @ 23:44:08

    Absolutely beautiful. I am a 41 year old first time mother of an 11 week old little girl and never have been so complete and happy in my life. I so enjoy reading things like this to teach me how to savor every moment possible. My mother told me just the other day that she loves this time with my daughter because she missed out on it with me as she had to return to work. I have a wonderful friend that has employed me to work from home so that I may stay with my daughter as long as possible. I cherish every second. Thank you for sharing.

    Reply

  9. christi cox
    May 22, 2012 @ 00:41:23

    Time is so precious….children, gifts from God. By the time i had my 3rd child i became a stay at home mom and a 4th quickly followed 20 months later. At one time in my life i wasn’t sure if i ever wanted more than 1 child~God~had other plans and i decided to let him lead my life. My children are my world, I try very hard to be in the moment and present for them each and every single day. Some days its so very easy and some days it is not. I would not trade a single moment of it though. They are our everything.

    Reply

  10. Kristin
    Jun 21, 2012 @ 20:37:26

    I found you via Upstreamparenting and HandsFreeMama and I love this post! At 38, I became a mother for the first time, and I think because I waited so long, my patience is usually very good for my little boy. Sometimes, when he’s stalling at bedtime or dawdling, I check my impatience and try to forget about everything else. Because the rest of the world can wait.

    Reply

  11. Trackback: City Girl In The Country: Lost – My Messy Beautiful | Chaos & Clarity

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