She is six years old now. Just like that. Blink. Blink. Blink. Blink Blink Blink. Six years gone by. Each year better than the previous. Each year witnessing her growing up and me growing. I am not the mother I was six years ago. Thank goodness! I always had good intentions but my actions didn’t match. Although practice hasn’t made me perfect, it sure has brought vast improvements.
I have become kinder and more patient. I have slowed down my pace. I am not rushing through life. Neither mine nor hers.
I get it now. I must enjoy each moment because the only certitude is that it will disappear. If I am lucky, it will be replaced by another moment and another one. Possibly, it could simply all stop… Certainly, it WILL all change.
Change is what I must come to term with. My husband says he admires my willingness to change. My ability to change. I have indeed made the practice of change a steady part of my life. Over the years, I have become a master at change and yet I remain a novice all the same.
It’s change in her that I am not expert at handling.
Yet change is the essence of her Childhood. To learn. To experiment. To grow. To shed layers, add layers and transform into who she is supposed to become.
Each night, as I gaze at her sweet slumbering face, I try to really look, to really see. I want to imprint my whole being with that moment so I can forever remember. By the morrow, she will have changed.
Each night, I say goodbye to the child I came to know that day. Each morning I look forward to discovering who she will become. What new words will cross her lips? What new skills will she acquire? What new quirks will pop up?
So it goes. And so I must learn to live in the Now. I must savor the present, all the while preparing for the future, and always relishing the pleasant memories of the past.
And so today I sat and watched as she played. I didn’t read. I didn’t check my phone. I didn’t surf the internet. I just took her in with all my senses.
Technically I didn’t get anything done. The dishes didn’t get washed. The living room wasn’t swept. No food was cooking on the stove. No e-mail was answered.
In reality, I did all that mattered. All of me was there for her. My body. My mind. My soul. I wasn’t going through the motion.
I stopped and watched the gold of her skin, the flakes of glitter in her eyes, the streaks of copper in her hair.
I stopped and listened to her delightful giggles.
I stopped and tasted the salt as I kissed her sweaty neck.
I stopped and shivered when I held her soft little hand in mine.
I felt so alive. I felt so peaceful.
Life doesn’t hand us these moments, we must claim them. Just as our body needs food and water, our soul hungers for these slivers of stilled time.
Our children do need a clean house, good food in their tummies, books to read and play dates with buddies.
But first and foremost, they need us.
They know when we’re near them and when we’re WITH them.
They know when we’re listening.
They know when we care.
We can’t do it all the time but we need to do it some of the time.
They deserve it. And so do we.
What do you do to bring stillness into your life? Share in the comments section below.