I’ve sat, starting at a blank screen, far longer than I should. I’ve watched the sun ascend over the huge, thick clouds that seem to have settled in for the morning. I’ve sent little ones back to bed reminding them that there is no earthly reason for them to be up before most of the rest of the world. I’ve watched neighbors leave for work and morning papers being delivered in time to meet their owners who undoubtedly will read while sipping coffee. I’ve taken my laptop outside and sat in the quiet morning and moved it back in when raindrops began to fall. I’ve continued to stare at a blank screen until little ones descended the stairs begging for breakfast. Meadow climbed up into my lap and told stories from her imagination while staring with me at a blank screen. At this moment, with my screen just a little less blank, I hear Meadow singing upstairs as she gets dressed while Chanelle is sitting next to me blasting and singing along to Justin Timberlake’s Can’t Stop The Feeling. A glance out the window shows no evidence of earlier raindrops as morning light pours through the window.
I’ve come back to this space again after taking Charlie and Chanelle to soccer and running a few errands and a look to the clock reminds me that in 15 minutes I’ll need to head back out to pick up (hopefully) exhausted little ones from soccer. The truth is, there are a million reasons why I shouldn’t stop in here. There are countless other things I could be and should be doing right now, but still, this space pulls me in with a force that I don’t entirely understand.
Sometimes, in the midst of motherhood, I try to think back and remember what it was like when I was little. How did my Mom feel when she was mothering little ones? How did she spend her days? What did she think about? Dream about? Certainly, my siblings and I didn’t drive her crazy like my own kids do me on some days. We were perfect, I’m sure. I wonder how she dealt with the ever changing stages of raising little ones while still trying to become who she was meant to be? These are questions that I don’t have answers to and questions that, I’ve accepted, I’ll never have answers to. I think if my Mom were alive today I’d have so many questions for her about who she used to be and who she wanted to be. This space, I think, is an offering to my family–my kids, my Dad, my grandparents, Chad, my in-laws, and, honestly, me. This space reminds me to live and live well. I want my kids to know that while we were far from perfect, we did the best we could to make a beautiful life together. While there were days where I yelled from exhaustion or cried in frustration, above it all, our little family has given us a gift of slowing down and finding beauty in our everyday life.
So, I am compelled to come to this space again and again simply to document this little life of ours. To relive, through pictures and words, the beautiful moments that often happen more quickly than I can hold onto them. I look at these moments, captured with my camera, and I breathe them and and feel all that I felt in the single blip of time. While the moment is gone forever, my camera grabs them and says no, not this one. This one is here to stay.
One look at an image reminds me of the moment when our little ones were struck with awe and wonder at the discovery of little creatures. I remember what it was like to watch them captivated by tiny movements of arms and legs and I am taken with them on the ride of the discovery.
The most precious of our moments happen when we dip our feet into the murky waters behind my in-laws house. Peace envelops us as we wade our way through the shallow waters. The soft breeze and the rustle of the trees leaves are outdone by the sounds of laughter and banter as Charlie, Chanelle and Meadow do what they do best. . .
They explore and I stand back and watch. I take it in and, for a moment, feel the immense privilege it is to be their mom, to live this life, to write this story it all its beautiful monotony.
I come here when there are a million other things to do because I am so keenly aware of how fleeting these days really are. For this reason, we try to be intentional to remember, amidst the craziness, the exhaustion, the sibling arguments and the fights over messy rooms and toys strewn around the living room floor, that one day we will miss it. One day, when their tiny voices within our walls are only silent echos in our minds and their rooms are turned into perfectly staged guest rooms, we hope to look back and remember that we lived these days well.
Are we living them perfectly? Of course not. I want to write that in big bold letter–we are not living perfectly.
We know that there is no perfection and I want Charlie and Chanelle and Meadow to know that. I want them to know when they are embarking on their own lives and down their own paths, that perfection is not anywhere on the radar. But living well? Doing our best? That’s something we can do. That is something we celebrate.
(She tried so hard to climb that ball herself, but never quite made it. . . case in point.)
The kids are home from soccer now. The last few hours passed by in a whirlwind and that is exactly why I stop here. To freeze these moments and call them what they are. . .
Who we are. Who we were. A gift for them. For us.
To remember that the most important things are really very simple.