Slow Down- Don't Miss What's Right Here
Updated: Feb 24, 2022
It's the week of Christmas, pouring down rain, and of course lots of last minute things to do before the BIG day: wrapping presents, delivering cookies to the one's we love, and getting new flooring put in. Wait...you mean house projects aren't part of the tradition? Gotta love time frames for home improvement businesses and handy men's schedules. We all need holes in the floor during the holidays.
While our handy man's working away at finishing the hallway project, I decided it would be a good time to take the kiddos on some errands I needed to run. We headed down south a bit on the highway and the rain just starts pouring down hard, time to slow down a bit on the highway. As I am looking at the clock my mind starts thinking "ok it's going to be 11:30 when we get there...I didn't pack a lunch for them...it will take 10-15 min to get to Chipotle from her house...then it's another 5 minutes to Trader Joes..." trying to plan out what will work better for the kiddos so we don't have any "hangry" moments.
After dropping off some goodies at our dear friends house, getting to visit and build a pretend castle and road, it's time to head over for lunch. "Why didn't you pack something? Car picnics are your thing!" are the words that keep circling my mind. I know that if I push the kiddos too far, a meltdown for sure is bound to happen- hungry kids are no fun. As we drive through businesses, numerous lights, and many holiday shoppers, my heart is racing faster and faster because I just want to get to the restaurant. "What if there are too many people in there? What if it's not a safe spot to eat inside because after-all kiddos aren't vaccinated? We can't eat in this car, it's just not cut out for it. What if Daddy is waiting for us at home and hasn't eaten yet? Will Trader Joes have long lines?" More and more thoughts just consume me as I hurry into a parking spot.
Entering Chipotle, there's no one in line- no one sitting down except for a couple at the back of a restaurant- perfect timing! Amara runs into the line to quickly let me know what she wants, I can tell she's starving. I let the gentleman know we will have 2 kiddo quesadillas and 1 salad for me. After paying, we find our way with a highchair to some tables that had just been cleaned off. Armaan starts fussing, as he sees me opening the steamy quesadilla he's becoming more impatient and starts kicking his legs to let me know "hurry up, Mom!" And that's when the amazing thing happens- Amara tears a piece of her quesadilla off, and hands it to him. "Honey, go ahead and eat I know you're hungry" I tell her. She responds, "It's ok, I can share mine with him." I just pause in my motions, just stunned as she continues to tear pieces off for him. I try to hand her a bit of his quesadilla, but she tells me it's not necessary.
When we finished another round of quesadillas, it was time to hurry to Trader Joes. It's definitely babe's nap time, but he's going to have to wait a few more minutes as mom is tackling her holiday market list. Luckily it wasn't pages long as it has been in years past, but still it's quite a list to tackle with 2 kiddos in the narrow isles of TJ's so close to Christmas. As I am driving, my mind starts to shift from "hurry hurry hurry" to "did you see that in the restaurant? When did my daughter get so grown up? How did she know to take care of her brother like that?" At a red light, I turn around and just look at Amara. I can feel the tears coming up as I tell her, "You were starving. You see your brother is uncomfortable and hungry, so you decide to share your food with him. You wait for yours because you know he really wants to eat." She has a stunned look on her face because she can't tell whether she's about to get a lecture or hear a compliment. "I am so proud of you and can't thank you for helping me like that today. That's the sign of caring for someone else- so stop asking me if you've been a good girl this year for Santa." I turn around and notice the light turning yellow, a car had just gone through- I missed the light! I was so busy taking in this moment, that even in a hurry, with a line of cars behind me in the turning lane, I forgot to go.
Life with kiddos tends to feel rushed rushed rushed. I feel like we are always planning the next task and breaking down procedures to avoid toddler tantrums. Even as we tackle tasks, we're always thinking of what could have gone better or what we've done wrong as a parent. Do you ever feel this way? Constantly worrying about how something is going to go and what if? Throw the holidays into the mix of it, the worry starts to double sometimes. When we are so fixated on schedules, tasks, and what if's, we lose sight of the win's that are right in front of us. Siblings entertaining each other, sharing food together, and calming each other when one is upset. Sure there are screaming matches, pushing, arguing over toys- but what about the good stuff?
Momma it's time to stop and smell the lavender bath salts. In other words, put that scheduling book away, and take a moment to just be. Having a busy mind like this cannot be good for the soul. Things are going to be hectic, and go wrong sometimes, but these tiny humans are aware of these emotions too. They know when someone needs help and will pitch in when needed. And speaking of soul- whomever is the great Spirit above has done something pretty awesome when he/she/it created siblings. That's a bond so strong no one can get in the middle of it. But Mom if you're not able to clear that mind and calm that racing heart, you're going to miss moments like this. Take some time to be grateful, soak in what you created that's such a beautiful gift to everyone, and know that the tribe will be ok if you take some time to reset. You've worked so hard to nurture these littles and show them what care is all about- now show them it's important to care for yourself too.
As we embark on this new year, I've decided my goal as a mom is to put self-care at the front of everything. These moments where I am rushing here and there don't feel too great and I want an open mind to soak up the love that's right in front of me. There is a lot of truth to the saying that says "when your cup is full, you can fill the others."
It's time to soak in these moments, Momma. Your tribe will thank you and learn so much more about care if they have a role model doing it in front of them.