Recently this article was floating around Facebook. The title, "Don't Carpe Diem" caught my attention, because I'm a big fan of carpe-ing the diems and I was shocked someone would suggest otherwise. So I started reading and found myself nodding and laughing and sighing ... It's a good article, read it.
Her premise: You don't have to cherish every little moment. You don't have to enjoy every single minute of motherhood. Whoa. I'm so glad someone admitted that. Because, I'll be honest, there are some times when I'm blogging or recording memories of my kids and I stop and wonder, "Do I really want to relive this experience 20 years from now? Is this something I really want to remind myself of in future?
Sorry Jude, but the poopy diaper that followed your blueberry binge, not gonna muse over that one when you go away to college and I'm feeling sentimental. And Jack, when you dipped your head in the toilet this week? Yeah, no need to repeat that event. And Julia too, as much as I love having fallen asleep all those times while still holding you in your favorite position ... well I'm not sitting here wishing you'd revert back to those days. As Dorothy Parker once said (and as Melton quoted in her article), "I hate writing, I love having written.”
Well, I love having parenthood.
I also love Melton's distinction of time:
"There are two different types of time. Chronos time is what we live in. It's regular time, it's one minute at a time, it's staring down the clock till bedtime time, it's ten excruciating minutes in the Target line time, it's four screaming minutes in time out time, it's two hours till daddy gets home time. Chronos is the hard, slow passing time we parents often live in.
Then there's Kairos time. Kairos is God's time. It's time outside of time. It's metaphysical time. It's those magical moments in which time stands still. I have a few of those moments each day. And I cherish them."
And so it got me thinking. What are those special moments with my kids where time stands still? What are those instances that will live on in my heart forever? What are those little things that, 20 years from now, will have me saying, "I've so enjoyed being a parent!" Little things like ...
When Jack bursts out in hearty laughter. His deep, real laugh. Whenever it happens Jon and I give each other the "He's so awesome, I can't believe he's ours" look.
Jude's happy dance. Part Irish jig, part tap dance. It still amazes me that the littlest things can make someone so happy. And I love that his happiness goes all the way down to his toes.
Watching Julia sleep. Her arms curled up around her ears, her lips utterly relaxed, her breath coming out in tiny, little puffs. She's the perfect stress reliever.
When Jack wakes up from his nap and needs a good, long snuggle to keep him going. My amazing firstborn, you'll never be too big for Mama to hold.
When Jude stares off into the distance, his eyes bluer than the sky on a crisp, cold winter's day. I'm dying to know what he's thinking, what's running through that little mind. I'm sure we'll see his ideas played out in the future, but for now I just love watching them take root behind his lashes.
When Julia clings to my shirt. Her hands and finger are so tiny, and yet she manages to wrap them around and hang on for dear life. I'm so flawed, so human, and yet she trusts me implicitly.
When my kids play together. When Jack retieves a toy for "Little Buddy." When Jude climbs up next to his big brother on the couch.
When both boys smother their baby sister with kisses. I love having front row seats to the development of my favorite "best friendship."
I could go on, but if I leave my children unattended for too long they'll go on to do those other things, the ones that I don't plan on remembering. But the best part is, we're only at the beginning of this venture. I'm sure there are many, many more kairos moments to come. And I'll remember to count them.