Life is full of noise and rush. At home, if I’m not telling my daughter for the umpteenth time to not do something she is hellbent on doing, we are hurrying from one thing to another, be it school, work, whatever. The evenings are a flurry of throwing something that is not horridly unhealthy for dinner, hopefully not too late, and trying to spend a little time together. We then move on to the bed and bath time process where I will hope tonight, maybe tonight, she’ll fall asleep at a decent time while my daughter will work to concoct as many stall tactics as possible. It’s constant activity, an ongoing cycle.
At work, I go from one task or meeting to another, trying to squeeze in as much as I can before running to daycare, hoping not to be the last parent to pick up their child. I do ok on that score most of the time. Rush, rush, rush. It is overwhelming and I find myself focusing too often on what I didn’t do (that laundry will never get put away, the house is a wreck, I forgot to reply to that email that was so (not really) important). It makes my world feel small at times.
And then, there are those rare and awesome quiet moments.
Recently there have been several mornings that my daughter has come to my room anywhere from 4:30 to 6 or so in the morning. She climbs into bed, snuggles under the covers and almost always falls back asleep till somewhere between 7 and 7:30. Some mornings it wakes me up (not the 4:30 times, but the later ones) and I just lay there holding her while she sleeps. I feel so thankful that I got a chance to be a mom because for a time I wasn’t sure if I would be able to be one. I can feel her heartbeat and it takes me back to the day when I heard it for the first time. I don’t think I had ever been so insanely happy and yet so terrified of losing something at the same time.
But back to these exquisite quiet moments.
The house is dark and silent. There’s nowhere to be. No one needs anything. The critical voice is my head has shut up. I can think and be grateful for all the blessings I have in my life. It gives me some space to put everything in perspective and hit the reset button. These quiet moments are gifts.
Now, granted, when we get up and daily life kicks back in, I’ll probably get frustrated because we are running late and my child wants to wear a summer dress in 30-degree weather. Or maybe she’ll insist on wearing shoes a size too small because she just loves those red sparkly shoes and nothing else will do. The usual hectic rush of the day will resume. That evening we will likely be at odds over bedtime and all I will want is a glass or two of wine and a sleeping child. I’m human and not a person with limitless capacity for small child shenanigans. I will get annoyed, possibly angry, and forget all the high-minded gratitude and perspective gained earlier in the day, at least for the moment.
The thing is, try as I might to remember the peace I can find in those rare moments of quiet, I will likely fail to not let the petty and small concerns of the day take more of my energy than they should. However, each morning, as trite as it sounds, is another chance to do better. Maybe not in big ways, like never being aggravated that we can’t seem to get out of the house on time in the morning despite my best efforts. But small ways, like not losing it when I am running especially late and my daughter steadfastly refuses to leave the house unless she wears her tap shoes. Instead, let her tap on out of the house while quietly bringing a spare pair of shoes she can change into at school and just move on.
As a mother, I’m a work in progress. Those quiet moments remind me to give myself a break and just enjoy the peace when and where you can find it and hold onto it as much as humanly possible.