Monday, April 25, 2011

Days are Long ... but Years are Short

Christmas came and went.  Easter flew by.  My birthday is almost here.  Then it'll be the Fourth of July.  Thanksgiving time.  And before we know it ... Christmas will have come and went again.

That's why it's important to memorialize what's happening, and embrace what I have right now.  I don't want happiness to just happen and I miss it.  My boys are growing up before my eyes.  Cash amazes me every day and makes me giggle with his quotes and captions and Christopher is hitting a new milestone it seems like every hour.  I'm thankful I get to be a stay-at-home Mommy ... but for some reason my brain is constantly "nexting".  I have no idea whether that is an actual term or not.  But what I'm talking about is this:  Cash learned to play Tball a couple months ago.  As I'm sitting there watching him learn which base to run to next, I can't help but think, "We're going to to be home past lunch time.  Should we go home and let the dog out or should we grab something to eat first."  Or, "Does anyone have a doctor's appointment tomorrow?"  Or, "Are there any birthdays coming up that I need to stop and pick a present up for?"  This "nexting" thing really interferes with my ability to pay attention to my son as he's getting his first hit and it sometimes makes me upset with myself.  But then I have to remember, this "nexting" thing is also what probably makes me a great Mom.  It's what prompts me to grab my son's hand when he's heading towards the street.  Or catch the teetering glass of strawbeLLy (because that's what it's called in our house) milk that he's just elbowed.  So is there a happy medium?  Yes ...

Teach AND model gratitude.  While life's distractions can interfere with being happy and joyful in the moment ... I need to learn to take time to reflect on what's JUST happened, what I have, and what's to come.

Happiness is brief, infectious, ordinary, ever-changing, and nonconforming.  It's a glass of strawbeLLy milk.  It's an off-key version of a Carrie Underwood song.  Sometimes it's the Tball practice.  Sometimes it's the memory of the Tball practice. 

And finally, Happiness is Elusive.  It's like trying to catch a cloud in your hand.

I asked Cash what made him happy.  His answer:  StrawbeLLy milk.  And while some parents would be hurt that he didn't answer, "you".  Of course he's going to specify a more concrete experience.  It provides immediate sensory gratification.  It tastes great and makes him happy.  But you have to remember that YOU are the one that fixed him that cup of strawbeLLy milk. 

And lastly, I'll end on this note...

Happiness doesn't always make you happy.  It's a strange concept:  The things you do to be fulfilled don't fulfill you.  My schedule is constantly packed with Tball practices and swim lessons and library time and playdates and mommy-and-me classes and art classes.  And individually they are meant to bring happiness and fulfillment.  But collectively, doing them all can honestly leave me frazzled and worn-out. 
I just have to remember to think macro ... not micro.  Driving my children all around town for Tball practices and playgroups doesn't always leave me content ... but knowing that I'm enriching my son's life in the long term does.

Happiness is not a magic destination where I get to stay.  But if it were ... I bet it would be a pool filled with strawbeLLY milk.

(Cash at the bottom of the big hill after rolling down it)

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