Enjoy it right now. It’s so short.
I don’t know how many times that phrase has been uttered to me in my twenty years of mothering. I read it here in comments and I remember my sweet Grandma telling it to me when my Hannah was just a babe and not months from being twenty.
Somehow I think it’s not the advice that we think we need to hear.
I know. Maybe I’m talking to myself about this whole thing.
I just think that somehow it’s almost impossible to understand the words about savoring the moment and enjoying the now and that time goes fast until one is already through those years. When we’re in the midst of the crazy, truthfully, I am not sitting down thinking about savoring everything. I am thinking about surviving and getting through.
Or what in the world I would be making for dinner.
Or where the five year old was because it was so quiet.
Or what the answer is to that fourth grader’s math problem that google isn’t even helping with.
Or where that homework sheet is that they needed to turn in and it’s now disappeared. Without a dog too.
Or how I would be able to accomplish 439 items that should have been done yesterday.
Being a mom is exhausting and rewarding and crazy and awesome all smashed together.
And this savoring of the moment and love of the now when sometimes the now is making me want to pull my hair out?
I know we all get it.
I know. Or at least, man oh man, I’m hoping you know too.
Because sometimes I worry that I’m the only mom out there hearing those words about savoring it while they’re young and feeling guilt or worry that I’m not or knowing that I should be doing more of that but truly, honestly, I just want to get dinner made and help with homework and fold that laundry and I’m exhausted.
When there’s the exhaustion of motherhood and the stress and the stuff it’s kind of hard to love every single moment.
I think that’s what I’m starting to see now.
I’m starting to realize that it’s okay that I don’t honestly see the wonder in some of the crazy parts of motherhood. It’s okay to be tired and worried and to fret more about tomorrow’s lunch and not writing everything down in a journal. It’s okay to be grateful that it’s bedtime and to crave a moment of peace. Do you know why? This.
Life lessons happen when we live life.
I really believe that we have to live life and journey through motherhood and do all of that to realize the beauty that was tucked within those moments. When they are babes and crying and demanding 28 hours of our 24 hour day we are simply getting through. When they are toddlers and we’re chasing them around and picking up messes and hoping for naps we’re getting through. When they’re in school we’re helping with homework and tucking them in and hoping for the best we’re getting through. All of motherhood may feel like a whole bunch of getting though moments, but in those moments are where we’re living life.
And in those times we’ll get those embrace life moments – where the stars seem to align perfectly and the babe is sleeping on our chest or the kids are just happy and life just is wonderful and we are just feeling content. Yes, yes those.
Those content moments that are sprinkled into our day to day life that cannot be contrived, but rather can be experienced.
You see if all of life was of those moments then we’d lose the profound beauty of those moments because otherwise they would just be normal. And motherhood?
I think those are the things that my grandma and all of those that give us advice want us to remember.
Not every single second of living.
Doesn’t that just make you breathe? It does me.
Maybe that’s what those words mean. Maybe it means to be willing to see the ordinary in the extraordinary. Maybe it’s about being willing to let our guard down just for a moment. Maybe it’s about being just a bit aware when we have those times in life and being willing to embrace that moment.
The crazy out of breath years of motherhood are finite.
And all the lessons – all that you and I will learn will happen because we have lived our life.
We will have made it through the stages and the slammed doors and all the times where we just have so many questions and worries and yet we kept on going. That’s you too. You and me. We keep on going.
So tonight or today or whenever you’re reading this I want you to work to remember one moment.
Maybe from the day or the week or the month. Just something. Something that makes you grateful for the now. Instead of trying to live in the tension of knowing it’s all gone immediately, let’s live in the truth that we are doing our best. Let’s remember the pure amazement in the simple, and yet truly, most beautiful things we do.
Buttering bread. Tying shoes. Saying prayers. Signing papers. Rocking to sleep. Standing and watching and cheering. Letting them go.
Yes. That’s the start of a list of extraordinary in a life that often feels ordinary.
Living is what makes the moments.
Let’s just live knowing the moments we will remember and will tell others to embrace are the very moments that are woven into our lives. Don’t try to savor every moment.
ps. I was talking with my friend Dan and he had the most profound wisdom about this – he told me that those who tell us to cherish memories have memories in their lives that they cherish. And thus they want us to experience it well. And that our culture is a culture unlike any other – where it’s so easy to document that extraordinary – versus years ago without Facebook, Instagram and digital cameras – and maybe just maybe all of those beautiful moments are in fact, right there, right now.