Sunday, September 21, 2008

enjoy the journey, live in the moment, carpe diem, etc.

Our friend Hannah's birthday is tomorrow; she would be turning 6. Thursday marks 1 year that she's been gone. The boys painted some rocks with very bright and sparkly paint; we plan to take them to Hannah's gravesite tomorrow. She was a big fan of colorful, sparkly makeup and "click-clack shoes" with gems and feathers on them. I think she'll like these rocks.

Hannah's been on my mind lately, along with Stephanie Nielson a person I have not met but who is included in my prayers. The delicate, inevitable mutability of life weighs heavy on my mind. I've been thinking about how to connect with my kids more meaningfully and more often. It sounds like a no-brainer, but sometimes it's difficult to choose between finishing the dishes and sitting down to play Legos. Not that I love doing dishes (quite the opposite), it's just that I know that playing Legos will only mean more dirty dishes later and a more tired Mommy to do them. So many religious and philosophical traditions emphasize living in the moment, soaking up everything happening right now. How do you do it and still keep your house clean? How do you do it when your kids are literally punching the wind out of each other instead of helping you make a homemade apple pie? How do you appreciate the magic of the 5-year-old mind when that same 5-year-old routinely melts down in the angriest, most irritatingly dramatic way possible? These are not rhetorical questions.


prism said...

Just remember that you are not a machine, you are a mother. And, if the house is a little dirty sometimes, so be it. One can only do what one can do, and one can't be expected (realistically) to do everything all the time.

Seize those little moments - those precious little moments while you have them in your midst. The dishes and laundry will always wait for you - childhood won't. Easier said than done, I know. I really do know.

Sometimes the best conversations happen while working together (like letting them fold the towels even though they don't do the best job, but that they're there, and helping, and talking).

With so much striving toward perfection, we need to take a moment to notice the beauty in imperfection.

Patty O. said...

Oh, I so wish I had an answer for this. I struggle with this everyday. Just today I was wishing I could have a clean house for an entire week with no one messing it up. You understand this would necessitate getting rid of the kids for a week (actually more, because I would need them gone long enough for me to clean, and then for me to enjoy the cleanliness.)

I hope someone can answer this in an easy, no-brainer way, but unfortunately I think this is one which requires sacrifice of some sort: sacrifice of the clean house, of my one hour in the evening to myself which I would need to spend cleaning, sacrifice of my own desire for a break so I can build *another* train set. Sigh. I can relate to what you are dealing with here.

I am scared to death that I am missing precious opportunities to bond with my kids, but at the same time, someone has to feed those kids. Balance has never been my strong suit.