I've been giving a lot of thought lately to being present, being mindful, and what that means. I feel like I am constantly starting my day with a gentle reminder to myself to be patient with the girls, let them grow, be present with them, enjoy moments as they happen. But more often than not, I forget all of that during the breakfast rush 20 minutes later. I am spreading butter on toast, doling out vitamins, tying ponytails, everyone is asking for something, I am hangry and I start barking at people around me, coldly ignoring their pleas, reminding them in increasing decibels to wait your turn, be patient, there is only one mama, one thing at a time.
So what's a mama to do? Keep reminding myself of my intentions set that morning in the quiet of my bedroom. Bring it all back down. Serve breakfast, fasten bibs, sit down, and enjoy our shared meal. Quietly remind the girls that forks are for food, not table-painting. The day is not a write-off just because we had a rough start. There is always a new chance to be who I wanted to be when I awoke.
When things get hectic and I am most certainly not being mindful or present, the best cure is often to sit down and let them come to me. Let them guide the play, the action. Sometimes they bring a book and curl into my lap. Sometimes they sit and ask me to braid their entire head of hair. Sometimes they climb me like a jungle gym. But everyone feels connected again, peaceful, comforted.
I guess I could use a bit more patience with myself. The same way I know that lessons and rules need repeating 187,363 times before a toddler understands not to climb the bookshelf, I might need to remind myself every morning for years and years before I am consistently mindful, present, centred. Maybe it will never happen! Perhaps the effort, the re-setting of my intentions is the point.
This one. This nine-month-old wonder is the very epitome of curiosity. She is crawling, climbing, stretching as far as her little body will take her. She is taking it all in, eagerly absorbing the busy world around her. I can see her soaking it in before her big debut as a full-fledged participant: walking, talking, directing a piece of the action herself. She smiles wide at her own accomplishments, wider when she sees me looking.