It's 8:23 on a Saturday morning and our family is doing what we've been doing more and more often lately; we are all in our own corners, taking our time to start the day. Joe was downstairs in the office, checking on his work, ESPN's homepage (and playing a bit of his favorite video game, why not?) and now he's getting ready to go for a run. Kiddo is in the living room, folding paper airplanes out of recycled paper and watching Schoolhouse Rock. Here in the kitchen, I've got my buddy Thelonious Monk playing, a bowl of eggs and rice in front of me and a book waiting...
It was when I had picked up the book that it occurred to me how much more of these mornings we've been having lately. It's a pleasant sort of peace, all of us minding our own business. Honestly, within the context of the day, this sort of moment will be long forgotten later when we are negotiating going to the store with a recalcitrant youngster who doesn't think it's fun. You know, the moments when parents quietly question their previously-held idea that having a kid would enrich life somehow. They pass: we bite our tongues, restate reality to the child and try~try~ to move forward.
These are the moments that I still would not trade for anything. The hard moments have a purpose-- they shine a light on what in our lives needs our thought and attention. Please know what I am not saying-- I am not saying that we are always better for the hard times which befall us, that there's always a reason or purpose. I am most certainly not saying that at all and it would be arrogant of me to simply because we all know better; some of us feel that every minute of our life is divinely ordained and that is a faith I have great respect for while still not necessarily sharing that view. Some moments are simply flat-out senseless and terrible.
I am lucky, because I do not have that to look back on. I would not trade my moments because none of them were so traumatic I'm still being affected. Those moments have given me great chances to learn good things about my life and about other people. For example, we've had a few moments where I was dealing with severe pain and friends were able to take Kiddo for that time. That's a blessing, to know that there are people in our lives who have our back. I have a very good husband, who, no matter how frustrated I can become at times, is head and shoulders a better partner for me than anyone else. My best friend. How great is that? We have really worked over the thirteen years we've been together to develop this sort of union that allows for some stress and flexibility as we grow together in life and in our relationship with each other.
Moments are something to hold gently, preciously. Memories are so transient, we can see so clearly how fragile they are. More ephemeral than any other thing than a moment, memories are the one thing we have very little control over the possession of in our lives. We rely on them and yet, they are capable of disappearing without our even having known.
This doesn't frighten me, but it does make me take heed. This is why some sort of journal (this blog, really) is so important to me, dear reader. See, sometimes you get to chuckle with me at my life and this mother's silly foibles and Kiddo's rather random, witty moments, however, this is really meant to be a testament for myself, my son.... what raising him was like. What becoming a mother is like, how it stretches you in uncomfortable yet necessary ways. The moments we might wish we'd been able to avoid do have sometimes have something to teach us. For example, last year we had a lousy trip to the beach and it's helped to shed some light on some family dynamics which need changing. The lesson is there if you look for it.
If we are willing to look at our part in our relationships, if we are willing to be responsible in doing what we can to improve things, life becomes so much better.
So, this fine morning in our mellow house, that's what I'm thinking about. How lucky I am to not want to change a thing, how we continue to learn from what challenges us and to grow as a family. Can't say I would trade that for anything.