Finding the Long-term Perspective in the Chaotic Now
Today I’m going to veer slightly from writing about… well, writing. However, the very thoughts in this post come out of the busyness of balancing a family, job, and a time-consuming aspiration to be a writer,as well as an emotional couple of weeks waiting for a beloved family member to pass.
A slow bleed of realization has pooled in my mind, trickling down to my heart, and filling it over the last several months. Today I want to share some things that I’ve come to see, namely, that it’s sometimes hard to remember these days of little ones, school activities, and diaper duty won’t last forever. Life has a tendency to pass us by when we’re busy doing other things.
I’m saying all of this, of course, amidst frequent stops to read a book to my pleading child, rescuing beloved books out of the trash, constant booger wiping as everyone has a cold, and surrounded by a cacophony that would make even the most saint-like mama (which is not me by a long-shot) want to plug her ears.
I will confess, my thoughts are a little nostalgic, maybe even a little melancholy, as I put them to page today. You see, my husband’s grandpa was sick and passed away yesterday. As I look at a man who lived life well, full of laughter, who enjoyed many things and many people, could tell a fish story like a pro, loved much, and died with those he loved surrounding him, nothing to regret– I can’t help but think what do I want at the end of my life? My answer is, I want to feel that I enjoyed the little magic moments of my life. What I don’t want is to wake up with children grown and house empty, and feel that I wasted too much time worrying about unimportant things or being irritated with the ins and outs of being a mom, like messes and noises, and forgot to just love being a mom and wife.
So, please bear with me (And I apologize for the length!) as I outpour a heart that wants to be a better mom and better person tomorrow than I was today. This is addressed to my children (though they are thoughts they can only truly appreciate when they are parents themselves, I think), and I pray that someone else needs this reminder today too.
Someday I will miss you.
It’s almost impossible to think today, when we spend every waking (and non-school) moment together, when I’m absolutely saturated with your presence and touch. When you are so glued to me that sometimes I wonder where I stop and you begin, and I wonder if I am in fact my own person– that yes, I will miss you and you may miss me someday too. When life, and friends, a job, a mate, and children of your own, may take your time. I will miss this time, right now, every single saturated minute.
Someday I will miss the sound of your feet scampering down the hall, though it sounds like a herd of elephants. I will miss the sound of those feet and the giggles that echo after them.
Someday I will miss the special way you need me. Granted, you may need me in different ways when you’re older, and I look forward to being a friend and confidante for you. But I’ll miss how you run to Daddy or I for comfort after a fall, that I hold the magic boo-boo healing kiss for your owies, that after a long day of play, it’s Daddy and I that can wrap you in a hug and tuck you in for the night with a whispered, “I love you.”
I will miss the way your hand fits in mine. The way you fit in my lap (and sadly, already do with my Rya :() for a story and snuggle. The innocent delight in your eyes when you discover something for the very first time, even if it is how to open the jar of Vaseline and coat yourself in it.
Someday I’ll miss the sleepless nights, times in the quiet of night, when only you and I seem to be awake in the world. I might even miss my name being called, sweetly at first and then with a progressively demanding tone from the other room on Saturday mornings, far before the sun rises.
I’ll miss the clutter of toys, books strewn in the hall, schoolbags by the stairs, and stuffed animals hiding in my bed.
I’ll miss the feel of your hand over my heart and the closeness we share as I nurse you to bed each night, even when the days are long and I feel as though my body will never be my own again. Someday I’ll miss that too.
Someday I’ll miss your rambling stories that have no end, and the light in your eyes as you explain with imagination as big as the sky is wide, the inner workings of fairy-mershark magic. (Yeah, that was a thing.)
I’ll miss the sound of you reading to your sister. The way you hold her so tenderly, pointing out each picture, melts my heart– even though moments before you were screaming at each other and I thought I’d rather live in a zoo.
Someday I’ll miss the precious interruptions, or call them magic moments if you like, to my writing and household chores– a pull on my leg to go read or play, loud babbly singing, yelling ‘Mommy!’ from one foot away, even a toy flying through the air in my direction, or a gentle tap on my shoulder to tell me all about your day.
What I might miss the most, I think, is the noise. The noise that many days sets my teeth on edge, but also brings life to this house, and so so much laughter. Someday, that too will be greatly missed.
One of the greatest pieces of advice I’ve ever received as a mom came from my mother-in-law, a wise and patient woman who raised three rowdy boys. I told her of all the craziness my little ones were getting up to, the late nights, early mornings, the adjustments to having a second child, shortly after our sweet Nova Pearl came along. And she said, “Don’t wish it away. It goes by so fast. Just don’t wish it away.”
She’s right. In the moment, all the work, irritations, and ‘mess’ of life can cloud our perception and make us long for quieter, less complicated days. But may my heart be softened, and my eyes be opened to the sweetness of today, and all of the blessings of the chaotic now. Let me not waste one precious moment with those that I love.
For ‘Someday’ will come all too soon. There will be much to be thankful for when we get to ‘Someday’. Perhaps the scampering feet will be my grandchildren. But let me live and breathe in this moment right now, and find joy in it.
Blessings to you today, my friend, wherever you find yourself. Whatever stage of life you find yourself in. Bless you.
Mollie Joy Rushmeyer
photos thanks to freedigitalphotos.net