Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Fully Present

This morning I took a 5 minute video of my son playing. There's nothing unique about it; no new trick that he's showing off. Other than a few of his babbles it's a mostly silent clip. It's simply me watching him learn and discover the world around him. An attempt to freeze one moment amidst a thousand other moments that have me wishing life would slow down just a bit.

I was all in, fully engaged today. We played, read stories, sang songs, made messes, acted silly and laughed. I was present: mind, heart and body, watching every move, soaking in every little bit of my time with him. My phone sat across the room, untouched. In that moment, it didn't exist. Nothing did except me and him. 

I etched it all in my memory, praying that I will forever remember every little bit of him at this age--the way he gets so focused and intent as he studies whatever he is playing with;

the way he shakes the towel vigorously, laughing, testing how it feels; how he turns the phone over and over in his hands and scratches his little finger on the screen; the way he raises objects high over his head feeling their weight with a smile on his face and then lets them drop to see what happens; the way he folds the legs on glasses in and out and tries to put them on his face; his curiosity for how things work; 

how he loves to bang things together; his eagerness to give us whatever he is holding; the way he bounces when music plays; the proud look on his face when he claps; the way he smiles and scrunches his little nose when he gets really excited

--I want to remember it all.  

Last week a beautiful friend wrote this: 

"When Evelyn was born, life told me to put on my running shoes and don’t look back. Just.Keep.Going.Fast. Like any new mom, I wasn’t prepared for so many changes in such a short amount of time, but I think I am finally starting to catch my breath....I feel that I’m starting to embrace the fact that my daughter is growing beautifully, just as God intended. In less than 2 weeks, she will be 7 months. And this thought brings me back to the starting line. As each passing day pushes me a little harder, I’m learning to push back and jog instead of sprint." 

The next day, as I was packing up clothes that Eli had outgrown, I texted her "Can we walk instead of jog??" with a crying emoticon to go with. 

When people tell you that the time goes fast, it doesn't even begin to capture how fast it really goes. Time seems to go faster the older we get, but when you have a child, it speeds up exponentially and you are left in a frenzied mess wondering what happened to that teeny tiny, sleepy little newborn you brought home from the hospital yesterday.

Tonight there were protests of going to bed. We let him work it out on his own for a few minutes but his cries said what I have come to learn in this last year: sometimes this boy just needs the comfort of his mama.

I scooped him up and sat with him in our chair while he nursed until his breath steadied and his eyes closed. And I ended the day just as I had started, soaking up every bit of the moment, wishing I could freeze time and enjoy it just a little bit longer. 

Whether you have kids or not, we all have times in life that cause us to pause and savor the beauty of the moment. May we learn to be acutely aware of those moments and not let anything rob us of the memories we can create with the ones we love. 

Hope your week is off to a great start!


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