Enjoying the Now

Our house is currently in a bit of disarray.  Charlie’s room has been cleared of all furniture as we prepare for the changes that will come with our newest family member. Our living room has become the storage spot for every item in Charlie’s room and I have spent my days turning a deliberate blind eye to the chaos.  My little ones  have discovered an entire new world of toys and have formed the habit of spilling the mess further and further to the other side of our living room.  Apparently, the toys are much more fun to play with in the living room than they ever were in Charlie’s room.  Chad has spent the last several evenings turning Charlie’s scarlet and gray walls back to white as we try and figure out how to make an appropriate space for a girl and a boy. 

Any suggestions about how to create a space for both a girl and a boy would be greatly appreciated.  We’re starting with a blank slate.

The changing of our physical space has made this all the more real.  Not that the growing belly, constant exhaustion, and strange knock-knock-knocking on my abdomen haven’t been clear indicators that this is really going to happen.  It’s just that, for the most part, I’ve avoided it.

Yesterday, I took a meal to a friend who just gave birth to a beautiful boy.  When I stepped into her house and saw her cradling her week old bundle I stopped dead in my tracks.   Are they seriously that small?  I was shocked by his small size and and fragile looking body.  I looked from this little baby to my own two kids running around and I was dumbfounded. . . I can’t remember my kids being that small.  How could I have forgotten?  When I got home I looked for the evidence and stumbled across this photo. . .

Immediately, my eyes glistened with tears.  This moment was captured the day Chanelle was born.  My in-laws had brought Charlie to the hospital and the first thing he did was climb up on my bed and, unprompted, leaned down to kiss his little sister.  Oh my. . . the moment took my breath away. 

Just recently, a neighbor emailed me a couple of photos she had captured of our kids several years ago.  Again, I was shocked. . . who are these kids?

These days seem so long ago, although I know they weren’t.  It’s that thing that happens–the days go slow and the years go fast.    When I look at the photo of the newborn and the toddler in the hospital I am jarred back to the importance of enjoying these days.  It is precisely when I find myself caught up with the ongoing to-do list, or the worry of the day, or the the laundry, or work, or mopping, or cooking that I have to pull myself out and make the decision. . . let’s make some memories.  We did just that this week.

We walked past the paint scented bedroom and the piles of toys spilling throughout the living room and escaped to one of our favorite places. . .

We love going to the arboretum.  There is something about this place that calms the soul and draws us in.  Everywhere we look there is beauty and a complex simplicity that melts away worries and puts first things first.  While we were there the kids decided that we would build a new house there–right smack dab in the middle.  Even they sense the power of it’s beauty.

And these little escapes are no big thing, really, except to me.  It is when I slow down and decide to enjoy a moment that I see the preciousness of it.  Oh how I desire to look back at my years as a young mom and know that I truly enjoyed it.  When I really stop to think about it, I understand that it’s not making big plans or taking grand trips. . . it is simply slowing down to see what is right in front of me. . . wherever I am.

He was oh, so close to catching it.

What I realize as I live these normal days with my little ones is that as much as I love the adventures to amusement parks and plane rides to Florida. . . these quiet, simple moments when it’s just us are my favorite.  I realize that they will not likely remember the days of catching butterflies or reading books on the front lawn, but oh my, I certainly will.  I think these are the pieces of time that serve to fill my heart to the brim with the blessing it is to share these days with my little ones. 

My lesson of the week:  It goes fast. . . enjoy it now.

…but the biggest mistake I made is the one that most of us make while doing this. I did not live in the moment enough. This is particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs. There is one picture of the three on them sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages 6, 4, and 1. And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night. I wish I had not been in a hurry to get on to the next things: dinner, bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less.
-Anna Quindlen

  • Sassytimes - July 29, 2011 - 12:54 pm

    I love this line: "I understand that it's not making big plans or taking grand trips. . . it is simply slowing down to see what is right in front of me. . . wherever I am." Perfectly said and oh so true.ReplyCancel

  • Adopted aunt - July 29, 2011 - 5:42 pm

    O I know just enjoy the moment they grow so fast but each stage is fun! Can you do stripes or how about a pretty curtain or material down the middle or beads.ReplyCancel

  • mommathieszen - July 31, 2011 - 8:18 pm

    Well, we had all three kids in one room and it was already a light blue which worked okay to accent the boys stuff with in a boyish way and then Lily's stuff with it in a girlish way. You could do the same with brown or green too (like brown and pink on the girl's side and brown and green on the boy's side). Ours were young enough that it didn't really matter a whole lot on how to set up the room though–all their toys at that point were pretty much played with by both of them. Now it may be a bit more of a challenge. However you do it, Summer, it will look oh so cute for her and oh so cool for him because you are a mom who will make sure it does–I love that about you! : )

    Here's a website that might help give you some tips…http://www.ehow.com/how_7309456_decorate-boy-girl-shared-room.html

    Also, this one has AMAZING pictures that are pretty elaborate rooms, but maybe it would give some ideas because it would be pictures…I'm visual like you! : )

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