A thousand tiny moments
I am a multi-tasker. I like to do a million things at once. I think its something that has been bred into my generation. We've grown up in a time where every second counts and with the technology available to us its possible to do so much at one time.
Were told to Carpe Diem, to seize the day. Make the most of every minute, and do the most with every day.
In my opinion this is both a blessing and a curse. At any given time I can be having eight separate conversations. I can check out facebook as I fold my laundry. Be on Skype with my mom as I pay my bills. I can do laundry, wash the dishes, sing a song with Sophia and IM a friend all at the same time. I can DO a lot of things, but i find that a lot of it is done almost on automatic.
One of the gifts I have been given as a mom, is the need to take things slowly. When you're breastfeeding, youre forced to slow down and just sit every couple of hours. To be entirely honest this used to drive me crazy! There's a pile of laundry waiting to be washed, beds to be made, dust to be eradicated. As a member of the multitasking generation, sitting still and doing just one thing, focusing all of my attention on just one task, well, it just seemed like I was wasting my time.
There was so much more I could be doing.
As my daughter grew and changed before my eyes, it was like a shift in consciousness. This became our time, where nothing could interfere, nothing else could be done, and so I came to accept it, and to cherish it. I looked forward to our little pockets of time when we could just focus on each other with no distractions, and by the time she weaned herself at 14 months, breastfeeding had become one of the highlights of my days. When it ended, I was heartbroken, but I have so many memories of our feeds. Stroking her soft cheek as she dozed off, playing with her hair, tickling her chin, just gazing into her eyes for a small eternity, and just really being there, 100%.
The along came Vanessa, filling our house with even more baby love, laundry and work. For several months after she came it seems like I never slept, or rested, or really did anything. There was just so much to do and only so many hours in the day. I was still breastfeeding but now I was entertaining a toddler as I did it, or talking on the phone, emailing, just always doing something. Because it was the only time I sat still during the day, it was also the time that I tried to do the most. Its not that i never spent any time with my kids, or that I didnt appreciate them, but I just didnt seem able to stop everything and just "be" with them.
In the last few months, as our family has adjusted to being a family of four, Ive started taking that time back. I make a point to carve out pieces of every day to just be with my girls. To color a picture with Sophia, to snuggle with Vanessa, a walk outside to collect pinecones, or just to play, ith no distractions, nothing to take even a single cell in my mind away from just being with my girls.
Last night it was bathtime. My girls like to bathe together, and they have so much fun in the bath. Normally bath time is daddy-time, but last night he had to work late so it fell to me. Sophia helped me to wash Vanessa hair and toes, and once they were both all clean i let them splash and play. I had a lot to do last night, and I was considering telling them that we were just going to have a short bath tonight, but something stopped me. Sophia was explaining to Vinnie the difference between a lot of water and just a little bit of water in her cup ( a lot of water is too heavy, just a little bit is just right), and it occurred to me, one day very soon, Sophia is going to want to bathe by herself. As she grows and gains more and more independence, things like shared bubble baths are going to become just memories, and when that day comes, I will be wishing for this. Next week, next month, next year, the fact that my laundry was put away, or the garbage was taken out, wont even matter, so why does it matter now. I need to take this time with my girls, while they still want to take it with me. Last night my girls didnt get out of the bath until they were both little prunes.
Carpe Diem - seize the day. Does it really mean what I used to think it did? Make the most out of every moment, and live your life to the fullest. Or does it mean what Ive recently started to beleive? Seize the moments that matter, and just "be". The unimportant things can wait.
Every day is made up of a thousand little moments, if we try to fill them with two thousand ticks off a to do list, we can lose out on the preciousness that a moment can hold. Thats not to say that I want to sit in rapture and stare at my kids all day, but I want to make a point of cherishing this amazing time in our lives a little more.
I know Carpe Diem has taken on a bit of a bad rap lately, but its something that I want to try to do, just not the way i used to.