Shocker to all that know me: I'm not the most patient person in the world.
I know this and I've been trying to really work on this part of my personality. I spent most of Jackson's first year wishing him older - so we could DO things together. Then all of a sudden he was one, I was two months from his sister's due date, and I realized I will never have those "baby" moments with him back. I had tried to fast forward through two pregnancies and the less than stellar parts of having an infant. Just like that, they were gone and I felt a little disappointed with myself for not taking the time to soak in those moments.
Since then I've been trying to remind myself to just savor the moment. Sure, I'm terrible at it at times - like when Jackson wants to paint, but Summerlin just wants to eat the paint, and no matter what I do someone is going to end up crying. In those moments, I find myself just wanting her to be a little older - just enough to be past the "everything goes in my mouth" stage. But in the last few weeks I've been trying to remind myself to pause amidst the chaos and remember the wonderful parts of 16 months - the snuggles, the super enthusiastic "MAMA!" calls, the curiosity, and the endless hugs and kisses she showers us with. If I keep that in mind, the scene going on around me doesn't rattle my nerves quite as much.
Yesterday was one of those days that I had multiple moments of just wanting to soak it in so deeply that I will NEVER forget the feelings of love and joy I felt. Several times I honestly felt like my heart was going to burst with all the pure love I felt for my children. We didn't do anything grand, we just had a "normal" day at home, but I was so "in the moment" with them and I loved it. Many days I find myself physically present with them, but mentally wrapped up in running through a check list of what needs to be done around the house that day. I'm rushing back and forth between keeping an eye on them and cleaning/laundry/projects/etc. But not yesterday.
Yesterday was all about my babies. We chose sticks from the yard to decorate as walking sticks. We went on an "adventure" walk to the train tracks - observing birds, rabbits, rocks, and patches of dandelions along the way. (Btw, I have a beautiful bouquet of dandelions on the dining room table now thanks to a very sweet, loving two year old.) We read books. We made cookies - all three of us and yes, they ate a considerable amount of raw cookie dough, as did I. We painted dinosaurs and sunshine. We laughed. We loved. We had a blast. It was so good for our souls.
I'm also trying to let this mindset of patience filter into remembering what I can control and can't control. I can't control every aspect of my life. I can't control everything that happens with my children (try as I might). I can't control other people's thoughts or actions. I can't control the 30 minute back-up that I experienced at the HRBT this morning, thus making me extra extra late to work/school. But I can control my reaction to it. I've learned that there is no need to get upset - just roll down the windows, enjoy the breeze coming off the water, turn on some good music, sip coffee, and savor the extra 30 minutes to work on a small sewing project that happened to be in my bag (note to self - always keep a small project in the car/purse).
Life is good. Soak it up.