There's dozen of pithy quotes with this concept, I probably have half a dozen on my "good words" pinboard.
I need them pinned on my head, on my walls, and on my girls' walls.
I have these daydreams sometimes when I go for walks that both girls will fall asleep in the stroller, at the same time. They will stay asleep while I navigate the coffee shop, order my drink, enjoy it (while it's hot), and read for several hours. At the end of which time, they will wake up happy and I will be a content better person.
(If I just crushed any of your ideas about me, I'm not sorry. Real life is so much better and messier)
But if those dreams were to come true, I would miss out on so much. So much life.
I realized this the other day as I navigated the coffee shop with the stroller and two wide awake girls. I smiled at the other customers, no doubt breathing a sigh of relief that my coffee was to go. I pushed the stroller towards the water and onto the dyke, Kilmeny got out of the stroller and started running. Khaira was running with her in spirit, she is so close to walking everywhere and can't wait to keep up with Kilmeny that way.
I breathed the rich sea air into my lungs and felt life taking hold again.
We reached the corner, just where the rocks are piled perfectly to sit and the path is wide enough for two little girls to play on without getting in the way of other runners. I drank my coffee, and watched the waves beat against the rocks. I marveled (again) at the builders of the dyke and their determination to guard their farmland from the ocean. Khaira toddled from rock to rock, Kilmeny kept pace with every runner who passed us.
It took the smiles of a passerby to make me realize the wealth I had, she shared a delighted 'oh, look at them go!' smile with me and I felt instantly validated for all those hours of being mom.
We walked and walked along the cornfields. The girls did fall asleep and I did read. I sat on the farmland side of the dyke, the sun warming my face, and just read. My phone was off and away, I listened to the birds sing and said hello to the cyclists.
I enjoyed it.
I didn't know how long they would sleep for or how long I would be able to read in complete quiet. So I soaked it up and 100 pages later, when they started waking up, I felt refreshed.
And I had a new motto, a new mantra.
The toddles of my one year old, the snuggles, the fits, the stories, the questions, the crying, the raw reality of being here in this season.
Tomorrow will be hard and beautiful and memorable too.