Monday, October 13, 2008

In the moment

I was reminded recently of how little I am in the moment when it comes to my parenting, or in any aspect of my life right now, really. I'm reading this great book, Eat Pray Love, which has pretty much nothing to do with parenting (and this is a first in many months), and which is partially about this woman's months in an ashram in India studying meditation. She calls her mind a "monkey, leaping from tree to tree and stopping occasionally to scratch, spit and howl." Ok, that could also be a good description of a toddler. Either way, I've realize how often during my day I am either focusing on something that has already happened, or thinking about something in the future that might or might not ever happen. When will Sam take his nap? What will I do while he's taking it? Did he eat enough breakfast? Why hasn't he gone potty yet, and when is that going to happen? What if he has an accident? Will it be on the rug or the hardwood? Uh oh, I'm out of bleach wipes. Why didn't I remember to get those? Even while I'm typing this, I'm worrying about when Sam will wake up and exactly how much time I have until then, and if this is the best use of my time.

This is especially true now that I am a little over 3 months from having another baby. We've made big plans over the next few weekends to move our bed down to the basement, giving Sam his own room. He's actually very excited about it, and told me that the "big bed is going downstairs so that mommy can nurse daddy" (because you know I have to be nursing someone). All of this planning has resulted in lists about what furniture will go where and what walls will be painted, worries about how to help Sam adjust and who exactly will be sleeping where when, and second thoughts centering around what will happen if it all goes horribly wrong. But today, I remembered to live in the moment for an instant when Sam crawled into bed with us at 3 this morning. Our sweet time of waking up to his snoring little body between us is coming to an end. There was a time I thought it never would, when I earnestly wished for just this sort of move. But now that it's coming nearer, I'm ambivalent. I know that he's ready because he's telling us he is, and I know that to keep him a baby would not make me a good mom. But this mix of holding on to the past, looking into the future, and savoring the present is too much for me sometimes.

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