Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Today, I really tried to take notice of my daughter. How her hair curls up when she's sweaty. How her eyes really are yellow, not just hazel. They are so unique. How she describes conversations now, and talks about things that happened in the past with such clarity. How her body just will not stop moving sometimes. How creative her imagination is, and how gentle and sweet her spirit is. How she just can't keep herself from singing at all points in time. How she even chews her dinner to a little musical beat. How grown up and independent she is now.
We rode the Duke bus to Duke's West Campus today, and Flanna insisted that she didn't want me to hold her hand or put an arm around her on the bus. "It's okay, mom, I can do it," she reassured me. And through all the quick stops and fast turns and bumps in the road, on a big person bus with no seat belts, she really did make it just fine. Her tiny, skinny-winny body never once tumbled out of the seat, as I pictured it might every time we went around a sharp curve. (I had to catch myself about 7 times as my hands reached instinctively for her, to protect her from falling during a big curve or a quick stop! I was amazed to see she really didn't need that protecting!)
So, today, on that bus, I had to take notice of the fact that I can let go a little bit more now. Which makes my eyes tear up a bit as I write it. I just love these days of holding hands going up the stairs together, and it's sad to think about them being almost done. As Gretchen Rubin says, "The days are long, but the years are short."
We had a few other neat moments today, as well, where I was really able to be in the moment and make a connection with her, rather than thinking about the zillions of things I need to be doing for work, for our move, etc. At the park, we found some really cool pyramid shaped seed pods. We collected a few, and opened them up once we got home, sitting on our porch steps. They were like tiny amazing gifts, intricate and delicate, and resilient all at the same time. Flannery was quiet and careful and seemed a little in awe of the tiny seeds inside the pods. Then later, as we were playing blocks on the living room floor after dinner, I tried to just listen and follow her lead. Not to teach or coach or direct her in any way, just for a few minutes. And in that time, she sorted blocks by shape, color, and size. She made a really cool, almost symmetrical tower. And it occurred to me that she doesn't need my teaching all the time to learn. Sometimes, she just needs me to take notice of what she is already doing. To just appreciate the strong and sweet character and natural curiosity that she has.
My goal for next week is to get more sleep so that I don't have to try so hard to be in the moment! It's hard work sometimes!
What have you noticed from focusing on being in the moment in your life? Do you find yourself like me, getting so caught up in regrets of the past and hopes/plans for the future, that the present gets all jumbled and not as you'd like it to be? How do you help yourself carve out space and time to experience the present moments?
PS -- the first 2 pics here are from when Flannery was almost 2, and the last 2 are from 2 weeks ago. The change from baby to little girl is so striking!