Staying present, if even for a moment…

There’s a quote I like, which serves as a reminder that the world our kids live in doesn’t quite look the same as the one we adults live in…

Old age lives minutes slowly, hours quickly; childhood chews hours and swallows minutes.  ~Malcolm de Chazal

I remember when my kids were little… some days felt like they would NEVER end. I remember wishing for the days when I could have a little break – any break – from the insanity of the messes, ear-piercing noises, the crying, the crankies, the diaper changing… I look back on those days and sometimes I’m in awe that any of us survive! It’s a ton of work. It takes a ton of patience. It’s not a time that lends itself to quiet reflective moments to say the least.

The days when each of my kids started school full time were really hard for me. I always saw it as the end of a chapter. I cried. I called my husband after drop off lamenting over how they didn’t need me anymore and how it was only a matter of time before they were out of the house and I would be an old hag. (Yes, I do have quite the flair for the dramatic). 🙂

I will say that now that they are in school full time, I am more aware of the time I do spend with them. Maybe it’s the whole quantity vs. quality argument that many full-time working moms talk about. And I get it. It’s hard to stay present with your kids when their presence is never-ending I suppose. (That said, I wouldn’t have given up those early days with them for anything… although to be fair, no one actually made me a good enough offer to consider!). 🙂

Fast forward to today — My kids are in school, I have a business, I stay pretty busy all things considered. And I’m guilty of it like we all are… rushing, running errands, getting work done, making endless to-do lists… it seems like it’s the world we live in. Everyone is in a rush. Everyone has lots to do.

And like usual, I had a ton of things I needed to get done this week… Doctor’s appointments, teaching a private lesson, workshop to attend, lunch with friends.

Then my littlest got sick with a fever on Sunday. Today is Friday and she STILL has the fever. It’s one of those low-grade ones… the kind that seems to come and go so you’re never quite sure if it’s ending.

I started to get stressed Sunday night thinking of all the stuff I needed to get done. And Monday came. We spent the day together, I was loving on her, she was eating it up. She’s in first grade and still in that in-between stage of wanting to be a little kid and wanting to be completely free of parental guidance. This week, she has been all about just being six. And it has been awesome. And gratefully, I recognized in the moment how AWESOME this was. And I enjoyed it.

It’s a good lesson. And a good reminder to slow down. I need this reminder. A lot. Staying present, if even for a moment, is a gift.

That said, this whole “staying present” thing might end up getting the best of me if she’s still sick next week.  🙂

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WorkingBoomer - April 17, 2011 - 3:28 pm

Staying in the moment and enjoying our children is so precious. Thank you for writing this today. I really enjoyed reading it.

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