Mindful living: savoring our family

Cam has been really charming this week–a bit hyper which has made him entertaining and zany. I need to tell myself more frequently to set aside my phone, set down my book, close my computer, and look him full in the face. I was so glad I did last night: watching him sparkle and shine while he told me something he was excited about was a moment to be cherished. I love watching him wake up each morning…for that brief moment I get to kiss his still baby cheek and put my fingertip against the precious dimple without his teenage self batting my hand away and rolling his eyes. I can feel myself grasping at the days as they cascade through my hands, sliding away, eluding my clutches. I was amused he gave a very lackadaisical protest when I informed him I was dragging him along to a meeting last night. I suspect he does not relish being left home alone so much either; I’ve been actively trying to reduce making that a frequent occurrence. Sometimes my friends get told no now because I am loathe to give up time with him–it will never be regained. I cannot fathom my life when he will no longer live with me, actually I just avoid thinking about it beyond the positive spin that I’ll be free to travel more spontaneously but the reality is that he is entering high school this fall and will all too soon be launching his own life. He has been at my side for every step of this journey of mine from miserable marriage to peaceful quiet existence. We sometimes admit to each other how much we treasure this solitude-of-two after years of a houseful of sisters. He is my buddy in this life right now and I love that we enjoy each other’s company. Last week we had a nightly routine of snuggling up in my bed with our snacks and an episode of Planet Earth. How I looked forward to it all day! Just having him still want to sit next to me was a joy. I spent years “testing” if he was still young enough to allow me to hold his hand in public. He stopped when he was eleven. When you are a young mom you just have no concept of things ending; you are in survival mode. It is the blessing of being now an Old Mom done with the first round of children that brings the wisdom of savoring. The most wrenching piece of writing I’ve ever read (I have a photocopy of the passage tucked into one of my journals) is from The Poisonwood Bible about the “last child.” When first I read it, I assumed then that my youngest daughter Morgan was my last. When she was young I lived with that assumption: that sweet baby was rarely put down. I held her and held her, smelling her infant perfume and kissing her tender head. There was no rush at all to see how quickly she would sit, crawl, walk. We shouldn’t live in the past or in the future, but a healthy appreciation for both does help me live mindfully in the present.

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One thought on “Mindful living: savoring our family

  1. Oh how they grow up so fast and then there is “parenting” adults! I love every moment I spend with them now and their children and spouses/significant others. Those moments when its just me and my child (or both) are rare but memorable every single time. Being a young parent allowed me to act like a kid and enjoy them but at the same time miss so much because work was a must to survive many times! My goal with my grandchildren is to just enjoy them while I can in simple ways and sometimes in pretty complicated ways lol Just being with them all as often as possible and smelling the roses is a joy and priority!

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