Today in my inbox I received a newsletter from Naomi Aldort:
“It is fine to find ways to nurture yourself away from your child. But, when not available, enjoy the ride. If you knew how close the end of this period is, maybe it would be easier to relax and enjoy each moment. Discover that time for yourself, is time with your child. Being with your child is the way your nurture yourself; it is a treat available for a fleeting moment; it is the gift you chose to give to yourself by bringing this child/ren into your life.
Being with the joys of mothering now is fulfilling. Fearing that you are missing something (or needing a clean house) is painful. When the children become independent, you will find that your interests have changed anyway, or that you can pick them up further than where you left them. These former skills may or may not be relevant to you any more. Life moves only forward. Attaching to the past hurts and separates us from the happy moment of now and now and now. Without the wish to do something else, you love the moment fully and peacefully. Enjoy it. Like the rest of life, it is a passing ride that gives no second chance.”
Today I accidentally lived my life this way. I was out on the bike with the kids from 11:00 in the morning to 3:30 in the afternoon. We went to the bank then the market where we bought my mother* a bouquet of local sweat peas, a pie, our farm eggs. We had lunch in our favorite deli and went to my parents’ to visit and do chores. We dug potatoes. We went to the store for supplies to make a birthday cake for my mother. We walked our garden. We bought her gift and had it wrapped. I was in parallel with my children. I waited on their schedule and timeline as I would a guest. I didn’t snap or order around. Well, not as much as I usually do. They in response were agreeable, helpful, and took excellent care of our groceries and packages. Ralph was home almost before I knew it as our birthday cake was ready to be assembled.
The days I am very busy with my family and with my parents. Daily I visit them, cook for them, listen to my mom, and I talk a lot too. I sit in their living room. We go long stretches not saying much, then the conversation will liven up around something frivolous (the movie I saw last night), or something less so (this week my dad was classified hospice and has had oxygen, intense pain meds, and inhaler, a bed and wheelchair delivered). I mop the floors, do the dishes, wipe the counters. I listen as my children run around in the garden. Eventually we go and I say goodbye and tell them when we’ll be coming back.
* It’s her birthday! 59 years old.