Moments and Meaning...


      Oftentimes, at nap time, when I nurse Harper to sleep, I play on my phone, or use my kindle, purposely avoiding interacting with her so she will fall asleep instead of wanting to play. But at night time, I try to put down my phone, pull her close and play with her little hands, stroke her hair and cheeks, and really try to take these moments in. 

     Some nights, I'm rocking her absentmindedly, running over my to do list, frantically waving at the older two kids who choose this time each night to run frenetically amok, because they know I won't risk waking her to yell or chase after them. But other nights, nights like tonight, I get lost in thought. Deep, meaningful thoughts about motherhood, and babies and children, and life in general. I'm always taken aback in these moments at what a difference a little perspective can make. A simple change in mindset can take the most mundane task, and reveal in it some of the most profound moments in our lives. 

     So it was tonight, at bedtime, in this same rocking chair, with this same pillow under my arm, and this same sweet girl at my breast where I realized that bedtime, while it may seem like a simple (or frustrating) task, is so very much more. It's not one more item to check off my to do list, nor is it one more moment until I get some peace. No, it is so much more than that

     Tonight, I realized that bedtime is a privilege. What a privilege it is to rock this baby, and watch her eyes flutter as she starts to doze. What a marvel to see her tiny hands reach for mine as she flutters in and out of sleep. To feel her little chubby fingers caress mine, pausing to hold on for dear life, and slowly releasing as she drifts back off. To watch her head fall gently backwards, and then pop back up again, for one last suckle, just a little more comfort. How incredible it is to feel her breathing change, become more rhythmic and even, and to know that after a day full of learning and exploring, she is totally at rest. 

     What a miracle it is to be the one who literally ushers her into dreamland. To be the person whose very presence is so comforting that she can simply be. Reaching for me as she needs me, and finally resting when she's sufficiently comforted and secure. How lucky am I that Addy can't possibly go to sleep without one more kiss, or that simply laying in bed and reassuring Landon that he will be safe tonight is all it takes to melt his stress and calm his worried heart. 

     I'm reminded that these requests aren't intrusions in my day or interruptions in my routine. These are moments that define a childhood. And a Mother. And it's not just bedtime. Motherhood, you see, is full of these moments. These moments that feel like tasks on a never ending to do list. That are mundane, and frustrating, and seem to go unnoticed. But so many of these moments mean so very much more, if only we allow ourselves the time to truly reflect on what they mean, what more they represent.  

     How many moments have I passed up, skipped over because I was too busy or too caught up to take the time to notice? How many meanings have slipped by, task completed and never a second thought to give? How much of my purpose and my presence have I missed? How about you? 

     My goal for this week, this month, this year, is to look for these moments. To slow down, and take the time to really see what they mean. What they represent, and how they define my identity as a Mother. How they define this childhood I am cultivating for my kids. 

     I challenge you to do the same. Look around. Put down your phone, put away your to do list, quiet that voice in your head. Take some time in the moment, even the simplest of them, to simply be. And to marvel at what you are. Not what you are trying to accomplish, but what you are and all that it means. Give yourself a little perspective, and maybe a great big pat on the back. 

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