January 27, 2016

Enjoy the Little Moments

little moments

Over the summer, my younger siblings came to visit. We went to my sister-in-law’s house (my sister-in-law was out of town) and played on her giant, blow-up water slide. Ari was about 3 months old and Lucas was 2 1/2 years old. Ari needed to go down for a nap, so after I got the kids situated and started their water slide, I went and put Ari down for a nap in one of the bedrooms. I didn’t have my baby monitor, so I had to keep on going back inside every 5 minutes to check on her. When they are this young you never know how long they are going to sleep, and I didn’t want her to be scared waking up in an unfamiliar room. After I got her down, I put a chair out on the lawn for me to sit on while the kids played in the water. As I was sitting under the sun, with my capris rolled up so that I could maybe get a tan–no way was I putting on a swimming suit– I began to daydream about how things used to be. As a teenager I absolutely loved lying out in the sun to get a tan. I would lie out in the sun for hours in my little bikini with my  flat stomach, cocktailed skin, and headphones in my ears. How I wished I could do that right at that moment! I was so tired, as most moms with newborns and a toddler usually are, and I wished that I could just lie under the sun and take a nap like I used to do. Instead I was sitting in that chair with my six-pack hidden somewhere behind my baby pooch, wearing mom capris with pasty white legs, running inside every 5 minutes to check on the baby. There was no way I was going to get in a nap, let alone a tan. As I sat there daydreaming and feeling bad for myself, I suddenly realized that I needed a slap in the face! My busy 2 year old was laughing and playing in the water with some of his favorite aunts, I had a beautiful baby girl who was happy and healthy, and I actually had an opportunity to sit and do nothing but enjoy the warmth of the sun on my face. I had so much to be grateful for! Why was I sitting there feeling bad for myself? I soon realized I was exactly where I wanted to be, doing exactly what I wanted to be doing. I am a mom, and I wouldn’t trade that for a never-fading tan or all the naps in the world. I get to take care of two perfect little beings and that brings me more joy than I ever would have imagined as a teenager lying out in the sun with my headphones.

That moment obviously had a great impression on me as it still resonates with me today. I reflect on it often and use it as a reminder. A reminder to always enjoy the now. Being a mother is hard and sometimes it is tempting to feel bad for yourself as you remember your younger, more selfish years.  Being a mother requires a lot of selflessness, but that is exactly why it is so rewarding. It brings so much joy to see your children succeed with those little milestones that pass by so quickly, to hear those sweet phrases that they will say for such a short time, and to feel the love they have for you even when you feel like you have failed. Lucas has reached his terrible THREE’s, and there are some days I wish I could just lock him in his room all day so that I don’t have to deal with the tantrums! But I have to remind myself that this time will flash before my eyes. He has such a cute sense of humor and makes me laugh every single day. He gets excited over the simplest things that we, as adults, take for granted.  I want to embrace these moments while I can.

My goal for the new year is to live in the moment. Rather than halfway playing with my kids in the playroom, while thinking about what I need to get at the grocery and singlehandedly putting toys away at the same, I am going to leave the playroom a mess, forget the grocery list, and really PLAY. I want to be imaginative with my kids, and really listen to what they have to say. I want to take the time to give my husband a real kiss when he walks in the door from work and truly enjoy his embrace. When I am old and gray, I am not going to look back on my life and say, “Man, I really wish I would have done more laundry!” I am going to wish I had spent more quality time with my family and enjoyed the world around me.

 

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