Tag Archives: beauty

About Time

This past weekend I had the rare opportunity to pretty up and go out to a movie with a couple of other moms (no kids!). I came into this evening in a seriously grumpy mood. Over the past week my son had been teething with a vengeance and my daughter had been acting very…well…twoish. Added to this was the frequent absence of my hubby as he enjoyed some amateur radio classes. I was feeling exhausted and acting less than loving and patient towards my family.

Thankfully, this movie night was refreshing in more ways than one. While adult conversation was desperately needed (my husband said by Friday night I was flinching at the sound of my daughter’s voice), I think that the underlying message of the movie was equally necessary for me. If you didn’t figure it out from the title of this post, the movie I saw was “About Time” and as they say: I laughed, I cried, it moved me.

I won’t go into the premise of the movie (I swear, it is much better than its description), but rather focus on the end message which is approximately this: take the time to enjoy each moment as it happens. Enjoy the subtle nuances of life. Look for the beauty in small, simple, everyday moments.

Had I been living life like this over the past, rather challenging, week with my children? Ummm…no. Maybe it would not have felt like such a shit show (excuse my language!) if I had. Like all good lessons I’m sure this one will eventually fade into the abyss of my mind but in the present I am trying to take to heart this kind of attitude: to let my heart swim with joy at the beaming smiles my son sends me between teething fits; to relish the light in my daughter’s eyes as we share a joke (even if it is about “stinky toots”); to store in my mind the looks of commiseration my husband and I pass over our children’s behavior, so that I can think back and laugh; to memorize the feel of his arm pressed against mine when we finally fall into bed, two tired heaps.

These are the everyday little moments that make my life beautiful.  If I choose to ignore their beauty I am basically choosing to give my emotions over to the shifting moods of my children. It is my reaction to their moods and behaviors which dictates the tone of our day. They are children, they have not developed full (if any) emotional regulation yet. It is my job to guide them through these fits and starts with patience and love. How will I find patience and love within myself when I am worn thin by their whining? A.) I will pray. B.) I will look for the simple, profound, moments of beauty which they bring to my life, even on the bad days. C.) I will let myself fill up with a thankfulness which spills out in the form of loving patience.

I can’t go back in time and change the times when I have been impatient and unloving towards my family, and lets be honest, that would get complicated. However, I can strive to love them better in the future by appreciating all the everyday beauty they bring into my life.

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Through Her Eyes

I have been going through a bit of an emotionally rocky time. These times often happen for no rhyme or reason and I pass through, unharmed, time and time again. My daughter is young enough to remain fairly oblivious of my mood changes during these times and for this I am thankful. To her all continues on the same and when I look through her eyes I see that no matter what life’s current circumstances are…

The world is a game. Life is an adventure.

Telephone poles are for climbing (unsuccessfully), puddles are for splashing in, roots are for jumping over, rocks are for jumping off.

Lines are tightropes to be bravely walked across and sidewalks are stages, meant for singing and dancing.

Bridges are inhabited by grumpy old trolls and the alphabet must be sung to gain safe passage.

Rocks are treasures to purchase chocolate twigs with, weeds are flowers to be picked and admired.

Everyone is a friend, regardless of age, to be greeted with a smile.

Cars have feelings and sometimes need kisses and coffee to make them feel better.

Through her eyes, the world is a very different place.

This sweet child has yet to be touched by grief or pain and embraces the world with innocence and curiosity. She helps me to see the good, the beautiful, in all that surrounds me. When I look at the world through her eyes I am able to let go of grief, pain, and worry. I am able to open my eyes to appreciate beauty, open my mouth to sing cheerful songs, and move my body to the carefree ring of our voices.

As we walk down the street, side by side, I am thankful for her perspective.

Thank you Sofia.

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For the sake of progress: Ode to the cotton trees

We must be accepting of expansion, progress, growth, right? We do live in a bustling metropolis after all. I’m sure my own townhome development did away with a similar such beauty. But it is so sad to watch it happen.

Before: Our beautiful little forest of cotton wood trees.

Before: Our beautiful little forest of cotton wood trees.

After: To be replaced by town homes.

After: To be replaced by townhomes.

We bought this townhouse knowing this would happen, soon even, but I can’t help that my heart fell in love with the simple beauty of this small forest of cotton-wood trees. Our deck was surrounded by this lovely greenery and we enjoyed watching the trees go from wintry brown to lush summer green in our four months living here. I didn’t expect that they would do away with it so soon. My heart echoed my daughter’s cry of “no digger, no!” as it knocked over our lovely greenery.

In my present state of mind I took the change particularly hard. I don’t know anymore if these periods of depression are due to my mental health issues, breast-feeding hormones, or simply being a mother of two young children, but whatever the cause I have been feeling very stressed, anxious, and shaky lately. We all go through “desert” times in our lives and the desolate looking land left behind by the digger mirrors my soul at the moment. Seeing it makes be feel naked, lain bare. I preferred the protective encasement of my little trees. It was comforting.

This mama needs some prayer, some wine, and a child-free trip to the fabric store.

Goodbye little trees. And goodbye to the frogs and crickets who made their home among them and sang us to sleep each night. You will be missed.

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Filed under From the Heart: Thoughts on Life and Family