Friday, February 26, 2016

One Word 2016: Moment

It's not even the end of February and I've already had a baby and written about my word for the year. So yeah, I'm pretty on top of things.

Life with a newborn is all about the present moment. Nothing can really be planned - as soon as you sit down to eat or lie down to sleep, baby is suddenly ravenously hungry. For her there is no future. Either she is nursing or starving. She is cuddled with mama or she is unfathomably alone.

The needs of a two year old are less constant but nearly as changeable. One moment she is giving sweet kisses and the next she is screaming bloody bedtime murder because she wants her blanket on but doesn't want her blanket on and it's the wrong person doing it in the wrong way. There will be moments of silliness and toddler slyness and far too many moments of potty training and running away screaming and then suddenly one day Baby Addie isn't even a toddler anymore, she's a threenager (cue ominous music).

It's so easy to get tied up in the minutes of the day. Minutes of sleep and sleeplessness. Minutes til everyone needs shoes on walking out the door. Minutes until the next nursing, until dinner is supposed to be ready, and how many minutes will this tantrum last? Minutes til bedtime and not nearly enough minutes until morning.  This year will be filled with a lot of loud, in your face, strain your patience, labor intense minutes. I won't treasure every minute. Some minutes are just not that good.

The minutes can go by slowly, in the middle of the night, or in the third hour of nursing, but the moments speed fast. Baby squeaks and curled frog legs turn to searching eyes and first flashing smiles. When I look back I want to remember the floppiness of a satisfied sleeping baby.  I want to notice the  toddler's mischievous grin as she wraps arms around my neck, I want to appreciate the dancing five year old yet to discover self-consciousness. 

As this our presumably last baby already moves through new stages, I realize how brief this season of life really is.  I don't want to rush through or begrudge this season.  But in the midst of it all, it can be hard to see beyond. My life looks to be an endless procession of one handed tasks and days divided by a series of catnaps. Any non-mothering dreams will stay on the back shelf. I will be quietly buried under a pile of laundry.

I want to remember that these moments are important. When I am accomplishing nothing and haven't made it outside the apartment because it would take five hours to get everyone ready, when I have been doing and saying the same things over and over with no measurable progress, I want to remember that these days still matter.

These are the moments of nourishing my baby and teaching her to trust. These are the moments of sternness, of gentleness, of silliness - of letting my middle child know she is seen and not forgotten. These are the moments of teaching my oldest how to read and to love reading, of helping her adjust to changes at school and loneliness over losing her classmate-best friend. These moments shape lives.

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