A few weeks ago while my one year old was napping I propped open the baby gates so I could easily run the laundry baskets up and down the steps. It. Was. Awesome. I know what you are thinking…seriously this girl needs a life if something that simple makes her this excited. But it was so freeing to not be constricted by these barriers. My immediate thought was “I cannot wait until these nuisances can come down”…..but as soon as that thought passed another depressing one followed. If the baby gates come down then that means another milestone will have come and gone.
Fast forward to last week, as usual I was running late trying to make an appointment. My hands full with the diaper bag, purse, keys, snacks, books, you know all the essentials for a couple of hours out with a toddler. As I was rushing around I got halted by Wil trying to get down the stairs into the garage to load up. Again my initial thought was…. “only a few more months and this will be so much easier!” Then he said “ma” and reached up grabbing my hand for assistance. As his sweet soft hand grasped mine with complete and total trust I felt very convicted once again. My one goal when we found out we were going to be having one more baby was to fully enjoy him and make every effort to LIVE IN THE MOMENT.
Far too often do I look around our home with toys overflowing, Cheerios and goldfish in the most random places, sippy cups falling out of cupboards, and I long for organization. It would be so amazing if things would actually stay where I put them. I would be in heaven if my house would stay clean longer than five minutes. Even with “Live in the Moment” in the back of my head I still find myself frazzled with how hard it is to keep up with laundry, dishes, homework, spills, activities, social commitments…and the countless other mom responsibilities. It is too easy to get caught up in the daily chaos and we end up missing out on the little things that should be cherished. My mom recently taught Wil how to say “more” in sign language. One day while I was trying to keep him content in the grocery cart I asked Wil for a kiss. He happily fulfilled my request, and then he made the sign for “more”. I offered him another cracker but he shook his head no. I offered him his drink and again he shook his head no, so I offered him another kiss. He puckered up, smiled, and then signed “more” again. This little exchange made my entire day. It was one of the most simple moments that I will cherish forever.
I have few regrets in life, but not taking time to enjoy more of the little things with my oldest boys when they were smaller is one that I carry with me everyday. So this time around I have tried to focus on slowing down, not saying “yes” to every social opportunity, not volunteering to help with activities, not over committing myself or my family in general, but trying harder to enjoy the simplicity of life. It seems impossible that 11 years have passed since Ben was a chubby-cheeked baby with a twinkle in his blue eyes. Those 11 years came and went so quickly. It’s hard to believe that our first baby is now nearly as tall as I am and a busy fifth grader gaining more independence each day. The bittersweet reality is that the next 11 years will go by just as quickly.
Although it wasn’t our plan, I feel so blessed to have nine years between my older boys and Wil. I know how quickly babies become toddlers, toddlers become preschoolers, and preschoolers become independent, busy kids. I am so thankful that we had the opportunity to start over again with a new perspective. I wish I had realized then what I realize now and had “LIVED IN THE MOMENT.”
How do you “Live in the moment”? What kinds of small things do you cherish each day?