So much of life lately seems to be rushing by me. It seems as if I am rushing around trying to get everything done and worrying so much about getting in enough “Rachel Time” that it is sometimes difficult to really take in everything going on around me. Is she sleeping enough? Is her runny nose just from teething or is it more? Should I put her in a sleep sack or just use a blanket? Is she getting too big for her car seat and should I get a bigger one? These are just a few of the thoughts racing through my mind at any point during the day. Like right now I’m sitting here wondering if her baby food has enough variety or if I should go and buy some more..the thoughts never stop. I never stop wondering, thinking, analyzing and planning. It’s a blessing and a curse at the same time. I am a list person, a planner by nature and nothing about having a baby is conducive to this! I have been thrown out of my comfort zone to some degree, mainly because I never know what the day will bring. It seems my days tends to revolve around the successes or needs of my little one’s nap schedule for the day. But at the same time, since becoming a Mommy I feel more in my comfort zone than I have ever been. Confusing, right?
Have you ever had someone say something in passing and you know they did not intend for it to be so meaningful to you? It happened to me the other day as I was talking to a friend about getting our girls together to play. I confided in her about my return to work and how I feel like I am missing out on so much “Rachel Time” so I try to be sure we get to play together every day. We talked a little bit about what things our girls like to do when they play and that I was trying to make our time together worthwhile and meaningful. She mentioned to me that any time I spend with her is meaningful. It doesn’t matter if we are constructing things to do or playing with blocks on the floor. What matters is that I am with her and enjoying the time that we do have. What she said was exactly what my heart needed to hear in that moment! She was so right! Thank goodness for friends who know exactly what you need without you even having to say it! The planner in me and the list person in me has been going into overdrive trying to prepare for our evenings together. I have been putting so much pressure on myself that I wasn’t even giving myself enough of a chance to really soak up the innocence and love found in everyday moments.
Since then, I have made an effort to be more present in each moment. It doesn’t matter if what we are doing is super fabulous or downright boring. Any time we spend together has the opportunity to be meaningful. One example of this is when I am changing Rachel’s diaper I make more of an effort to make eye contact and smile. Isn’t it precious how babies stare at you when you change their diaper? Before a few days ago, I knew Rachel was usually looking at me when I changed her but I never really noticed, it’s almost as if she was waiting and wondering why I was not smiling back at her! While the task isn’t the most pleasant, it’s still a time that gives the opportunity to connect and show love. Instead of rushing through her kicks and squirms on the table I used it as an opportunity to pretend I was chasing her feet with my mouth to give them kisses. Which brings me to my next thought–is there anything more innocent than hearing a baby laugh? I can think of few things, if any. So while Rachel and I are together I want to make more of an effort to soak up every smile, every glance, every look of surprise and excitement across her face, every giggle and all of her sweet little words that come out sounding so amazingly precious. (Hang on, am I starting a list here?!…I told you! It never goes away!) But in all seriousness, that’s part of the reason why I started this blog, to be present, and to remember all of these moments that happen in the blink of an eye.
That’s why tonight when Rachel said “Mama” for the first time, I stopped what I was doing and reminded myself to be totally present in the moment. I knelt down on the floor with her and asked my sweet baby to say it again so I could hear her better. She squealed and said “Mama!” and was quickly followed by the sweetest kiss she has given to date. What a moment….What a sweet, sweet gift from God is my little blessing of a daughter. Reminding me again to slow down and smell the flowers! 🙂 She was so proud and I can not think of anything I would rather have been doing than kneeling on the floor, looking into her little green eyes and sharing that moment together. This is the life…and I am so thankful that it is mine.