My kids are my greatest teachers.
One of the biggest lessons that my daughter has taught me (and continues to teach me, again and again) is to slow the heck down. Breathe. Live in the moment. Forget about life’s distractions. It’s strange to me, an introverted homebody, that this is a lesson I would so desperately need to receive over and over… but I do.
The past two months have been incredibly busy ones, and I’ve sort of prided myself on rising to the occasion. Keep moving. Keep checking. Keep doing. Go, go, go. I’ve become very adept at taking care of Very Important Things while simultaneously tending to other Very Important Things. Is it weird to balance your checkbook sitting on the wings of the community pool while your kids are in swimming lessons? Or work on your grocery list while waiting for your son in physical therapy? I don’t know. But I’ve been doing them both, in my – mostly successful – quest to stay on top of everything when I’ve got a million balls in the air. Can’t stop moving. Can’t drop the balls.
This morning Tegan got up early. Well, it wasn’t exactly early. It was 8:00. But that’s early for her lately, because she’s been staying up late, and sleeping in the next morning. Which works out well for me, because it gives me plenty of time to work on my ever-growing to-do list before anyone gets up. But this morning she got up at 8:00, and in her sleepy little stupor, immediately sprawled herself out on the couch. I knew she was about to fall back to sleep, so I asked her if she wanted me to get her blanket.
“No,” she told me. “Come back to bed with me.” Her eyes were nearly closed already.
“You want to go back to bed?”
She nodded with her eyes closed. “Yes, but I want you to come with me. Come lay with me.”
I knew if I waited about 30 seconds before I got up that she would just fall back to sleep again on the couch. I also knew that it was a moment I wouldn’t get back.
“Come lay with me.”
My first instinct was to grab my tablet (I’d been catching up on emails) so that I could use it in bed after she’d fallen asleep, but I knew she wouldn’t like that.
My need to do. all. the. things.
I acted before I could debate it. I left my tablet on the couch, and walked her back to bed. I tucked us both in, her little body happily curled against mine. It was only a matter of minutes before she was asleep, her head heavy against my arm, her breathing deep and even.
I slowed down.
Her timing was, as always, impeccable. In many ways, life is about to slow down for the next month or so. Swimming is officially over, ballet ended for the summer last week, karate ends on Saturday. And with so many of my clients with travel plans, even my yoga class has taken a hiatus for at least the next month. But because this is, well, the real world, in many ways life is about to pick up as well. Lots of plans, lots of projects, lots to do.
But not this morning. Not right now. There’s a place for stillness too. A time to slow down. A time to breathe. I laid with my sleeping girl for a long time, savoring the moment, drinking in the lesson.
After she woke up, we hung out in bed for another hour, to-do list be damned. We watched TV, read about 7 Dora books, and talked about the important things moms and daughters talk about. I snuck out of the room just once when she was asleep, but I came right back.I just had to take a picture, to remind me.