Thursday, March 14, 2013

seizing the morning...

This morning we woke up to a dusting of snow that just about covered the thick layer of ice that is slowly shrinking on our driveway. (north facing driveways stink in the winter in MN). Just enough snow to invite all three of my kiddos out at 8:15.  And so we went out.  I was kind of grumpy about it.  Because if the boys wanted out, Syd wanted out.  And I just wanted to finish getting ready for the day, clean up the kitchen, and sip my freshly brewed coffee.  But I sucked it up, bundled up, and out we went to  the mellow MN morning temps and the warm sun on our faces.  I threw down some salt and scrapped ice of the driveway, the boys were in heaven, and Syd puttered around content in the fresh air.  Moment seized.

Someone emailed me saying her day wasn't off to a great start and she needed a pep talk.  I prayed I could do it.  I told her to throw in an extra cartoon, get herself a shower, and then go on an adventure that was small splurge.  Go get an early lunch, ice cream, or a car wash.  Go on an outing - being a mama out in public always brings out my best.  Something about getting away from the looming laundry, messy kitchen, confined lonely walls of my house.  Sometimes I think I am so paranoid about how many treats the kids could have, that I miss out on the chance of 'magical just because ice cream cones' in the middle of March or surprise donut treats on a blah Monday morning.  And really, we don't consume that many treats so an ice cream cone that could make a day magical should happen more often.  So I told her to go for it.  Moment to seize, encouraged.

In between the play outside, a pep talk for a friend, and deciding on our morning plan of attack I noticed this post on the Finding Joy blog listed in my sidebar.  The title was "The Myth of the Perfect Day."  It was just what I needed to read to remind myself that MN weather, changes in plans, looming to do lists, long lists of errands, runny noses, and the "spring is never going to get here feeling" couldn't bring this mama down.

We were supposed to go to the zoo with friends (we missed you Katie and Mila) but, Mama Katie made a decision that was best for her and her little one.  And I too hesitated on trekking to the zoo.   But, I realized that I too, like my friend who needed the pep talk, would benefit if we got out.  I knew if we stayed home we would just get through our morning and survive it, not thrive with it.  I knew I would feel anxious about not getting enough done, guilty for not getting on the floor to play blocks, and crabby when the kids were discontent just being home too.

So, we went and wandered.   And it was good.  We saw the bird show, a first for Syd and Henry, and got flipped by the snowy owl's wings as it soared right above us.  We got nose to nose with the penguins.  And I forgot about the messes, laundry, and dirty dishes; and enjoyed the smiles that Miss Syd draws from the elderly zoo volunteers as she strutted by them on a mission.

I noticed her joy, because she is finally getting it, that there are cool animals at the zoo.  But loved how  even though she was a little more into the "zoo" animals, she is  still very distracted and in awe of all the different people crowding around her, textures to touch, and railings to slide her little hands on(cringe!).  We passed many moms, packed up for a morning at the zoo, following their tots around, occasionally checking their phones, snapping a picture, applying hand sanitizer, or making eye contact with me connecting over all these little things.

There is a whole lot of day left.  And as mamas we have to give ourselves permission to forget the to do lists and seize a morning of wandering at the zoo with our littles.  We also have to give ourselves permission to know it is okay to skip the zoo so that our little ones can nap, rest, or just be home.  We have to grab onto the day thinking about what's best for our family.  And give ourself time to breathe and realize that a day isn't meant to be perfect or spectacular at every moment....the key is to find the perfect moments mixed into the chaos and recognize the spectacular of the simple moments that are smattered all over if we just take time to notice them.

What moment(s) did you seize today?


Anonymous said...

We went to target and we went down the toy aisle and we lingered around the hex bug section. Eli dreaming and me allowing him to dream. I also let Eli feed Hugh Cheerios in the cart which they both loved. Tonite we made gf chocolate chunk carmel bars....just because.cyour words epwere just what I needed. Rr

Beth said...

I miss those days; a day to postpone my chores, guilt-free! I too feel like my kids get too many seems there's always a special occasion! So we've been working on portion control; even during our special occasions. I know I'll often have to deal with comments of criticism (family members exercising their freedom of speech); but I feel I'm teaching my kids good habits even when we celebrate.


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