I am on this great and relatively new path of parenthood. When I think of my life in terms of adult years, five is nothing. What's five piddly years? Four years ago i was 29. I looked about the same and I was enjoying the same things I enjoy now. I don't think I grew any inches (at least vertically--HAHA. Adulthood jokes = hilarious). But when I think of it in kid years, five is everything. For a child, five years is exponential. I'm not even going to even go into it because seriously-- WTFudge. But anyway, the lessons I've learned, too, are of a ridiculous nature and breadth. Lessons about how to be, how to do, how to live, how to view. Everything's changed, and I'm forever grateful. Today I thought I'd share just a couple of examples of how my life is different from having a kid in ways I did not expect, and other thoughts of randomness.
One thing is I don't really care about cleaning up messes. Some messes, sure. And this is partly due to my personality; i'm not really a neat freak. But when I wander through the house during school I actually enjoy shuffling the stuffed animals over or cozying up to small person clothes or parking the plane next to the bus so I can use the surface. Because I have a rapidly growing, ever-changing kid and since he's my one and only, he has 100% of my mom focus. I don't plan for my future very much because it's completely unknown to me. I do plan for possibilities of things though, and frankly speaking, he may end up being my one and only. I'm ok with that. I think this allots me a certain ability to focus very much on the here and now. I'll only have one chance with a 2-year-old (waah), a 3-year-old (sniff), a 4-year-old (please stay this forever), and now a 5-year-old (what did i just say??) I have to cling to everything even though it maddeningly slips through my fingers every time.
So, i love his toys around me. I know that i will pathetically but heartbreakingly miss them when he doesn't play with stuffed animals anymore. They mean so much to him and so do they to me. And I like having a visual of our life-- the messes, the blocks, the cars. Of course i can't live in squalor and at the end of the day we must clean up so we don't all step on legos and die. Back when Sean came home from work, he would immediately spring into clean-up mode, tossing Julian's things into order and I would tell him to stop and wait. Just sit in it a bit. Because I love his little footprint left all over my house. This kind of thinking leads me to ponder on myself and what kind of footprint I'm leaving behind in the world. But that's a post for another day.
Something else I've noticed is I'm a better singer than I was before. (sounds like a brag. Reminds me of a favorite joke phrase-- "you know what I like about me?") But it is true. Now, I'm not a great singer. I wouldn't even say I'm a good singer. But I can see a clear difference, that I am now, in fact, a better singer than I was before. I can hit the higher notes, I have better range (what I just said) and I think the quality is even a bit better. I just sound... I don't know... more practiced. How do i measure this? I don't know. I can't. Have I sung Julian lullabies every night since he was a baby and marked my progress? No. Do he and I sing alternate phrases of Video Killed the Radio Star in the shower? Do I print out the words to the annoying theme song in the creepy Tom Hanks Polar Express movie and try to learn them because it's Julian's favorite and is desperate to learn the words? Yes, and yes. I've always sort of loved to sing, in my way, but not as much as in recent times. I definitely attribute this to the birth of the boy.
Since having a child has crushingly brought to my attention that the years are fleeting, I've been desperate to understand and execute the concept of living in the moment. Sometimes when I read through my journal I pause on particular moments of time, any moment of time, years ago. There were hard times scattered throughout, sure, but I yearn so painfully to go back there. It's the yearning that gets me. From this I deduce that even during those hard times, it must have been because I actually was happy, I just didn't know I was. And if that's true, then how many other happy moments am I not fully recognizing and appreciating in my day-to-day? Moments i am letting slip by or refusing to even see? Moments I am sure to look back on fondly, if only because they were fleeting and I'll never get them back. But I don't want to live unconsciously! I don't want to miss things or let my stubbornness during a critical moment curb the possibility of what happy thing might have been even amidst the crappy stuff. This makes me think about the now and to choose to be happy so that one day i can look back and be like, man, those were some good times, and I knew it when i had it. To constantly live in a state of nowstalgia. Doesn't that sound pretty good?