Thursday, February 5, 2009

Living in the Moment

I spend every day with my kids doing fun things like going to museums, libraries, parks and play dates. We are pretty much on the go most days and we take advantage of the great resources surrounding us here in metro Detroit. On most days my kids wake up and say, "What are we doing today?" A shortage of things to do simply does not exist in this area.

Even though we spend most of our days together, sometimes I have to stop and really focus on living in the moment. I hear myself saying, "just a minute..." or "not right now..." more times than I care to admit. I catch sight of my kids out of the corner of my eye and wonder...when did Nicholas lose his chubby cheeks? How did he get to be so tall? Or, when did Christopher start singing and pronouncing Hakuna Matata correctly instead of trying so hard to just articulate "kunta tata?" It just doesn't seem possible that they are as big as they are right now.

I get up most mornings before the boys wake up to exercise, drink my coffee and do my crossword puzzle. That is my routine. Day in and day out. I don't veer from that routine very often because routine comforts me and I can always find an excuse not to exercise so I rarely ever offer myself the option. I just get up and do it. My alarm went off at 5:15 am this morning and just as I was getting out of bed, Christopher stumbled into my room with his prized blanket half sleep-walking. He woke up unexpectedly and wanted to crawl into bed with me and finish sleeping in my room. I said, "Honey, mommy is getting up right now to exercise. You need to go back into your own bed." He stood there for a moment rubbing his eyes and contemplating what I said until he finally whispered, "but I need you, mommy." My rigid, routine-based brain thought briefly about ignoring his request because, well, that really wasn't part of my plan. But, instead, on this morning, I grabbed Christopher's hand and heaved him up onto my bed. Christopher snuggled in with me and fell back asleep so effortlessly. All he needed was his mommy. I turned off my alarm and drifted off to sleep listening to his delightful breathing. I decided to live in the moment.

I wrote Detroit Science Center on the calendar for today. The boys love to touch and play and absorb everything the science center has to offer. Nicholas is off from school today so I thought a trip to the museum would be a great idea since we have been eager to see the Deep Sea IMAX movie. But, considering that it's only 0 degrees out right now (that is not a typo), we decided we would be better off staying home and making some homemade granola and trying out some new recipes we haven't had time for. We leisurely did some homework at the table this morning after breakfast. We made some valentine cards for friends. The boys are playing a game of bad guys and after awhile we are going to try out our new recipes. We are living in the moment today.

I am reading an interesting book right now called The Survivor's Club. The author "travels worldwide to gain insight from people who have survived a slew of near fatal phenomena ranging from a mountain lion attack to a Holocaust concentration camp, and interviewing an array of experts to understand the psychology, genetics and jumble of other little things that determines whether we live or die." These are truly amazing stories. But, the one thing I have come away with more than anything after reading this book is that these survivors' lives have changed, for the better, and they are more aware of living in the moment because they are grateful just to be alive. All of these people have survived against completely unrealistic odds. I don't want to have to survive death-defying odds just to live in the moment and be thankful for what I have right now. I want to do that today just because I can.

My kids will be in school full-time in about a minute and I will only see them on evenings and weekends. I am reminding myself today that when Nicholas wants me to listen to him practice piano, I will stop whatever I am doing and listen attentively - even if he plays the same song fifteen times. I am reminding myself today that it’s OK to sleep in every now and again breathing in-sync with a certain little blonde-hair, blue-eyed angel. The treadmill isn’t going anywhere. I am reminding myself today that it’s OK to change up our plans because we decide that watching Tom and Jerry cartoons in bed under the covers to keep warm is way more fun than going to the science museum. I am reminding myself today that it’s OK to turn off my computer because my kids are much more important than someone’s status update on Facebook.

I hear my kids calling me now. “Mommy, we are done playing bad guys. Can we make our granola?” You betcha. I’m turning off my computer right now. We are living in the moment.

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