I caught myself thinking that day, “I can’t wait for Zach to wean so I don’t have to be chained to him. I just hope Kyra can go to school for longer next year then I’ll have so much more time to myself. After my assignment submission next week, I’ll get to spend more time with the kids.” Through these thoughts, I was essentially telling myself, just wait and tahan a bit more. Life will surely get better. But will it really? This attitude of waiting to live life scared me a little because what if we don’t have a next time? Life is the now, the present, this breath, this activity.
Life is also the sum of small things – bathing, feeding, cleaning, enforcing naptime. They are repetitive, mundane, never-ending. All of these can be outsourced but how much poorer the relationship will be if not for the accumulation of shared experiences through these seemingly meaningless activities? Isn’t the bond of love built bit by bit, moment by moment, touch by touch, experience on experience? With this realization, I’m trying to live moment by moment, enjoying each of Zach’s gummy smile, running my fingers over his dimpled hands and feet, feeling smug that his eyes track me across the room like I’m the only woman in his life (not for long, I know!). Kyra’s nuggets of simple childlike understanding buried amidst her verbal diarrhoea, her literal understanding of words which gets us in stitches, her tight squeeze as she wraps her hands around my neck. Even during the crazy meltdowns and wee hour wakings, I breathe in their smells and tell myself, yes, I’d rather do this than not at all. I know full well that all these are going to pass and soon, the kids won’t need me as often, as earnestly, as crazily, and I’m going to miss being so indispensable.
However, this season will pass and I sincerely hope there will be other good seasons. Many say nothing will ever beat this but I still hope to be able to live life moment by moment, earnestly seeking newfound purpose instead of always looking back at the past. Even so, I guess if I were to pick a favourite season, being a mother to small children will probably still rank quite highly, because we have never before and will never again give of ourselves so unconditionally and unreservedly. It is indeed more blessed to give than to receive and in giving, I have received so much more.
So now, when the meltdowns and terrible days come (about 4 out of 7 days a week), I try to remind myself to Keep Calm and Mother On…