This morning I baked bread with my friend, Elizabeth. I love Elizabeth and I love baking bread, so it was double good. Kids make everything crazy-fun and slightly fragmented; I kept forgetting how many cups of flour I'd added, forgetting to set the timer, forgetting what I was talking about in the middle of a sentence, forgetting to offer Elizabeth a glass of water.
But it was so great to have my kitchen full of playful babies, rattles and board books, occasional bursts of little boy energy, lunch crumbs, a dear friend, and the wholesome smell of baking bread. Every ingredient of the morning leavened me - especially Elizabeth's company. She is a treasure.
I know I've alluded to this fact before, but I won the friend lottery. At every turn I am inspired, touched, warmed, impressed, overwhelmed by the goodness and strength of the women around me. Their lives touch every part of mine. I love them; my heart is ever-expanding to hold the gratitude I feel for them.
Tonight we took a family walk. The air was thick and warm. Bugs everywhere. But it felt good to get out. And it was good to talk to Nate. Until the subject of relocation arose. I won't say anything else about that except that we would be wise to avoid that subject as it has a proven track record of spoiling pleasant walks.
I've been thinking a lot about time lately. How I spend it, how I manage it. If I have time for another endeavor. If I'm giving enough to the important things. How badly I want to take the time to be present, calm, immersed in my children. Henry is growing so fast, getting so big. I hate it as much as I love it. The finite-ness and rapidity of childhood weigh heavy on my heart, my heart that loves Goodnight Moon, magical little spaces, playrooms, mobiles, footed pajamas, morning snuggles, sippy cups, imaginary play, dress-ups, the clutter of toys in the bathtub and the hooded towels draped over the towel-bar, the collection of rocks and the pair of dusty sneakers by the backdoor. I'm even acquiring a soft-spot for velcro shoes, just because they usually mean there are little feet nearby (or a middle-aged nurse, or a grandpa).
I guess I'm just thinking out loud, yielding to introspection. I know I can't be a perfect mom; I'm getting good (almost perfect :) at letting go of perfection; the evidence is piled in my kitchen sink and strewn over the living room floor. I liked what CJane said about her mom, that "Her sacrifice came from giving up pride in the holy mother quest. And she didn’t wear motherhood like it was Sainthood–she wore it like a smart pair of Nine West shoes." My quest isn't for perfection (I know that can only be as deep as a pretense) or sainthood -- just good enough. Darn good, maybe?
Mostly, I just don't want to look back and think "I was distracted. I missed out."
And I wonder (daily) how to keep that from happening. And if I can do it without feeling one-dimensional.