I’ve been fighting the winter doldrums like everyone else. Which is pathetic really, don’t you think? Because if anyone should ever come down with the winter-time blues, it shouldn’t be me. Someone I know from Montana said on the morning of a particularly rainy day for us, “You call this weather?!!! Pffff! This is not weather.”
I know he’s right. I know this little spit of drizzle that we have from time to time is not really weather. We have a sunny day every fourth or fifth day. But still, I miss the sun. I hate complaining because when it is summer I belly-ached constantly about being sweaty. Then I daydreamed of cooler days when I can wear sweater upon sweater. Just something with sleeves for that matter. So here I am wearing three sweaters and a coat and sitting three inches from my space heat and I’m daydreaming of those summer days when the sun was beating down relentlessly in my un-air conditioned apartment.
Anyway, that is just my lead-in to say that I’ve been feeling down lately. Oh boo hoo. I know. It’s not really a big deal. I’m not depressed. Let’s just say I’m preoccupied. I’ve been in my head a little too much lately.
This morning as I was snuggling in bed with Baby Bug she suddenly turned to me with her big giant eyes and peered into mine like she was looking through the holes in my head to see if there was anybody home inside. “Where are you, Mommy?” she said.
I kid you not. That is what she said. How does she come up with a question like that? So simple and yet so exactly right. I wasn’t there. My mind was a million miles away. It has been. It’s been away for days. I didn’t know what to say. I just snuggled her and tickled her and tried very very hard to be in the moment right there and then. But it’s hard.
You know how it is.
When every minute you feel like you just want to run and cry but you have no where to run and nothing that is really worth crying about. So you just buck it up and kick yourself in the butt because if anyone should be thankful for all they have it should be you.
I’m not really worried. I’ve been here plenty of times and I know everything is going to be okay. In fact, it will be more than okay. There will be days that I stop myself and say, why am I so happy? And then I’ll jump for joy and say, “Who cares! Let’s just have some fun!”
So I’ve been thinking about being in the moment. Like a lot of you, I joined Kerflop’s 30 Tiny Moments flickr pool. What a great idea. I think all my pictures every day are tiny moments but this is a really fun game to play with your camera. So I’m playing. But I’m also thinking a lot about it too.
I should really stop this post here but I’m going to blow right on past.
If I had one complaint about the way I grew up (and really, I should NOT complain because I had one great childhood filled with happiness all around) it was that my parents weren’t “there” when I wanted them to be. You laugh?!! You should. I was one spoiled rotten little brat.
I came from a happy home where both parents stayed together and loved each other (imagine that!). My mom even stayed home to take care of us. I wasn’t a latch key kid or stuck in day care. I actually had a mom who did put milk and cookies on the counter for us after school. She even asked us how our day was.
However, my mom liked to read romance novels. (Sorry mom, your secret is out.) She liked to read them a lot. I hated it. You could always find my mom in the same spot in her in the living room in her orange recliner reading some paper back novel with Mr. I-can’t-belive-it’s-not-butter and some woman with the top of her bosoms exposed. Every day for hours on end, she was always there. Which is better than not being there I’m sure.
She cooked us dinner and made sure we did our homework. She did the laundry and chided us to keep our room clean. So really, the romance novel reading did not hurt us. But when she wasn’t doing those things she was always in her chair reading! Ask my brother, he’ll tell you this is true.
This got me thinking. Why did my mom have to escape us so much? Where was her mind? Was her romance novel reading not EXACTLY like my internet addiction? If Baby Bug could speak in long cohesive sentences, she would explain to you that her mommy is really really fun and wonderful except that she’s always sitting at her laptop and not paying attention to her. It’s true. I do.
For hours and hours. Of course, I’m mentally aware of what’s going on. I make sure she’s happy and fed and playing and not jumping off her bookshelf and landing on her head. And I do, in fact, turn away from the laptop for hours and play one-on-one with her quite a bit. Maybe even more than most moms. Who knows. I just know that the internet is my escape just like romance novels were my mom’s escape. It’s my other life outside my present life.
Why do I need another life outside my present life? Hell if I know. I hate to admit it but sometimes I get bored out of my skull playing with a two-year-old all day long. I love love love being a mom but… well, I’ve sung this tired song before. The grass is always greener on the other side etc. I wouldn’t trade it for the world but I do miss being able to do whatever I want whenever I want. (Waaa! Waaaa-Waaaah! Somebody get this baby a blankie.)
I’ve been thinking a lot about being present and not off in la la land. Sometimes being present is excruciating though. Do you know what I mean? Like today when we went for a walk! Oh my goodness! Has anyone ever tried to walk in a straight line towards a destination with a toddler? It is impossible!
I know I’ve written about this before but it might need to be explained again. Baby Bug has to examine every rock, every leaf, every crack, every hole, every crevice, every flower…and if there are steps to be climbed, THEY MUST BE CLIMBED! Even if the steps are going in the opposite direction of the direction I want to go.
I’ve actually worried from time to time that she might be near-sighted. For example: We were heading towards the beach, a worthwhile destination that I know she loves to go to, and it seemed like she wanted to go anywhere but. It seemed like she had no idea why we were out and about even though we left the house with a “shubble” (shovel) and a bucket with the specific purpose to build sand castles on the beach.
I asked her, “Can you see the ocean?” It was just a little bit of blue on the horizon. “Point to the ocean.” She points to a palm frond three feet away from her in the yard we are walking by instead. “No,” I say. “Where’s the ocean? Where is the big blue ocean?”
I can tell she’s trying. She looks around and spots the blue sky and points to it. What? I know she knows what the ocean is. We talk about it all the time. We say hello to Dory and Nemo in the ocean. The ocean is a big part of her life. So why can’t she look out towards the horizon and show me where the ocean is? I do not know. Because she’s two maybe? Because we are right here right now on the sidewalk and THIS PEBBLE on THIS sidewalk is SO INTERESTING!!!
Baby Bug is the queen of being present.
Half the time I just pick her up and carry her kicking and screaming because I cannot wait. But today I decided I would let her go. Let her loop around in her crazy directions that don’t especially go anywhere. I would be patient. Where do I need to get to in such a hurry anyway? Home? So I can check in on twitter to see what everyone is having for lunch?
Today I forced myself to be patient. I forced myself to be present. It took us an hour to walk one block. I wish I could say it was great. It was okay. I know a lot about cracks and crevices between here and the next block. Did you know there are three or four drain pipes down the alley that actually grow flowers inside them? Interesting, no? Maybe I should have taken a picture just to show you how present I really was.
*(kinda like this post)