Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Gift of an Ordinary Day

Friends: I hope you enjoy this video. I'm so thankful for all the older mothers, those with grown children, who take the time to remind younger mothers like me of the gift of these days. It's wild how easy it is to race around meeting urgent demands and miss the small joys--it seems to take a little self-restraint and a lot of grace to be able to pause and live in the moment. Please Lord help me to take better care to savor these moments.

12 comments:

Kat said...

Oh boy, JM, this had me on the verge of tears - what a wise, beautiful reflection for all of us mothers of young children! Thank you for this...

Shauna said...

THanks for sharing. I just finished this wonderful book today. What a joy to listen to the author herself tonight.

AWOL Mommy said...

I am going to go ahead and be the cynical one -- I mean, the woman has TWO children. There, I said it.

AWOL Mommy said...

JM, beautiful family photo update on the left sidebar. Maybe this will inspire a builder-wide update?

Kat said...

AWOL, I'm sensing that the "ordinary days" have been somewhat difficult lately ;)

Really, though, I must say that I think this woman's message is one that all mothers and fathers can benefit from - namely, that as our children grow older we begin to realize how quickly the childhood years slip away. Our children will change so much as they reach adolescence and adulthood, and although they will still need us in different ways, they won't need us as they do during this early childhood phase. It's a good reminder that my 5 year-old will not always be eager to have me play with his hair while reading stories, or that my 2 year-old won't always want to show me every last thing that she's playing with - and these are probably some of the things that I'll miss most!

God bless all of you today...

Right Said Red said...

It was a beautiful video clip, but AWOL, I see your point. I thought the same thing. My days, at present, are not so ordinary...

But I do think it is still a good reminder for me to treasure the time when my children are little--rather than wishing it away. Fortunately, since I have 4 beauties, my time with them as little kids will actually last longer! This is a joy, as well as a challenge. When the days are crazy I sometimes start to wish away these younger years, and I know looking back I will regret that choice. So thanks JM for the link, it was a great reflection on cherishing my children where they are right now, even if that means I am up all night cleaning up vomit (not really an ordinary day, right?!?)

JMB said...

I always thought that I was such a good baby mom and that I'd be so sad when those days passed. However, it hasn't really turned out that way. I'm really enjoying my older children now. It's wonderful to see their little personalities take form, to see their intellectual and physcial growth - the improvements in sports and dance and music. They are so much more interesting now, and when they do travel away from home, I miss their companionship. The days when my kids were little are such a blur to me, I don't regret anything about them though. I was there and I lived it. Perhaps I'm just not that sentimental.

Jennifer Frey said...

While I found this video sweet, I find my reaction close to AWOL's (I am pregnant and nauseous with baby # 3, struggling to potty train #2 and deal with the bed wetting of #1). I do think that moms with only one or two children do have a tendency to be more emotionally invested in the younger years (let's face it: the fun, full of wide-eyed love years). I don't want to do armchair psychology, but I wouldn't be surprised to learn that it has something to do with a secret desire for more children than they chose to have. In my very secular neighborhood playgroup, lots of Moms are currently agonizing over how their little ones are "growing up too fast" and how this time "will all be over soon." These same Moms fret over every last thing their little one does and are very emotionally invested in their child's every move. It is foreign to me, I think, only because I do not share their fear of "losing these years" so fast, precisely bc my husband and I are open to more life while these women and their husbands have slammed that door shut for good. And also, I don't have time to fret over every little thing my kid does (and I think this is a real blessing; see previous post on helicopter parenting).

One of the benefits of having a larger family, it seems to me, is that our lives aren't so neatly cordoned off into "the baby years", the "teen years", "the empty nest years", etc. Of course, I hope we all do live to be empty nesters at some point, but for Mom's of larger families it is less of a trauma, it seems to me (for some women it never really happens, because they have a grandbaby before their last one leaves the house).

texas mommy said...

I really enjoyed her book, Mittenstrings for God. What I take away from her reflections is that we need not rush around. I spent the first 25 years of my life trying to accomplish the next thing as quickly as possible. It is not always pretty, but I do need the reminders to remain in the present!

Mother of 2 said...

Love this reflection! I would say this to all the Catholic Mom's out there. Sometimes we just assume that God will give us a big family and therefore we are rushing to worry about when the next one will come. Obviously, many women who blog here are very very blessed with kids. My first two came fast and furious, but there has been an unintentional gap that has me wondering if there will be a # 3. Regardless, the break has caused me to take a step back and really enjoy the two blessings I have and not make assumptions about my fertility. I like the woman's message and would like to hope that even big families can still enjoy each individual child's younger years, despite there being a bit more chaos.

Catherine said...

Moms of newborns, don't worry. You know the stage passes so quickly and as much as we might like to turn back the clock on our children's growing up, not many want to turn it all the way back to those first 3 months. :)

I think the video captures the purpose of parenting perfectly: to learn how to be present to each moment as it unfolds, which is to learn to love.

Juris Mater said...

I was hoping this exact discussion would unfold! Thank you all for this--I wanted to ask.

Catherine, you said it in your last sentence absolutely perfectly.