Yesterday, I sat on the bench swing in the backyard while my 4 year old son swung next to me.
“Say the Swing Song,” he begged me as he pumped higher into the air and smiled. I gripped my smartphone in my hand, reluctant to peel my eyes away from the “important” article I was reading.
“Mama, say the Swing Song, pleeeeeaaase!”
I will be honest. I didn’t want to say the Swing Song, I wanted some moments of peace to do my own thing. Hadn’t I stayed up for 3 hours with a screaming baby the night before, woken up to him, fussy with a wicked red rash, a poopy and hungry toddler, and 2 scrapping children wrestling and hollering at each other just this morning? Hadn’t I spent all morning chasing after the clock, attending to this thing and that, and each little person that needed me *right now*? Hadn’t I ignored my grumbling stomach all morning and finally sat down to eat my own breakfast at 2pm? Sigh.
Yes, motherhood can be tough.
But I’m learning to see the joy.
I put my phone down and began to recite the “Swing Song,” (Otherwise known as How Do You Like to Go Up in a Swing, by Robert Lewis Stephenson):
“…How do you like to go up in a swing, up in the air so blue? Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing, ever my Sweetheart can do…”
“And the Crocodile Purse, too!”
“…Miss Suzie had a baby, his name was Tiny Tim. She put him in the bathtub to see if he could swim…”
After reciting these poems several times over, I figured I had given my fair share of Mama Attention and went back to reading my article.
“Mama, will you kick the ball with me?”
“Love, can you just let Mama relax for a while please? I really need some time to myself. You can play.”
He genuinely looked sad. I got up from the bench swing as he ran to get the ball. I stood in the backyard under the shade of our maple tree and took in the moment as he kicked the ball to me. I saw his face in the sunshine, now happy and bright. Wasn’t this the baby I brought home with me from the hospital 4 (almost 5!) years ago? Wasn’t he my first boy, the one that rounded out our happy family of 3 to the American Dream of 4? The little baby that I wore in the sling and kissed his little feet and cuddled and wondered what he would look like in 5 years and what kind of a man he’d grow up to be? I thought about specific memories of me and him when he was so much littler, moments spent together in the same backyard that we stood in now.
And then it hit me.
~ Right now is all I’ve got. ~
~ This breath is all I can count on. ~
The future is uncertain and a moment ago is now in the past and the past is forever gone. I realized that placing myself in the memory brought a sense of gratitude and appreciation for what I do have in the present. * Right here, right now. *
This motherhood thing can be tough, but I’m learning little by little that it doesn’t have to be so hard. I’m trying to remind myself that each day is a gift and each moment presents itself as a choice.
~ Wishing you all a lovely day and time to appreciate each moment. ~