holden, do you love mama? mmm-hmmmmm.
holden, does your mama love you? mmm-hmmmm.
holden, guess what?
his face scrunches into a big smile because he knows what’s coming.
your mama loves you.
to love and to be loved…one of the most important things in life.
little man wearing: h&m fur hat ($9.99), healthtex button-up from walmart ($5.98), healthtex colored jeans from walmart (from the girls department) ($8), target converse ($19.99)
almost every time there is water running in the kitchen sink, whether i’m rinsing the dishes, getting a glass of water, or washing my hands, i feel a little body mold itself against my legs, tiny hands yanking at the hem of my shirt, and a high-pitched squeak repeating “up, up, up!” i’ll look down to see holden with his arms outstretched towards me, looking longingly at the sink, knowing that he wants to sit in the sink letting the warm water run through his hands for the next hour or so. it is usually when we are planning to head out for the day or i’m just about to start dinner that his desire to play in the sink arises and often my first instinct is to say no, we don’t have time baby. but with holden, if i ever say no to anything i always like to give him a good reason of why he can’t do something. the voice inside my head always asks “why not?”
no, holden, mama doesn’t feel like watching you play in the sink for an hour never feels like a good enough reason for me. so i always pick him up, clothes and all, and sit him in the tub of water. he will hold his hands under the faucet, feeling the water pelt the palms of his hands surrounded by tupperware and spatulas and he is content for at least an hour. the one single activity that can tame my little wild man for that span of time.
we don’t get out until he is ready to get out, but there wasn’t a true reason that we couldn’t spend that hour doing exactly what he wanted to do.
like take an extra half hour to collect sticks on our way into the grocery store
or reading a handful of books in the car before buckling him in and heading to our destination,
or spend the morning playing peek-a-boo instead of getting ready for the day.
i don’t ever want to be too tired,
or too busy
to take a few extra minutes out of my day and do exactly what holden wants to do.
because all too soon, we grow older, we have more responsibilities and lose some of our ability to spend each and every day doing exactly what we want.
before holden, life was rushed. my days passed like the blur out the window of a speeding train, my face pressed against the sill attempting to discern whole objects out of the hazy greens and blues.
life revolved around getting to where i was going. getting to work, getting to the next meeting, getting home to my husband, getting to dinner, getting to bed, a ceaseless list of deadlines.
of course, i enjoyed my life, but i failed to notice all of life around me and truly enjoy every minute.
but holden changed this. he taught me to look at time with slow eyes. we swim in every minute, every second of our waking hours, soaking up every last drop.
almost every time we make our way up the front walk after being away from the house, holden stops me, begging to be put down so that he can draw with chalk, dig in the dirt, or search for and clean spiderwebs off of everything in his sight (his latest obsession).
despite an impending nap, a quickly approaching dinnertime, or the multiple baskets of laundry that seem to be forever waiting for me,
i always stop and play.
we stay at the park slightly longer than initially planned, take the long way home on our morning walks, and leave the light on a little past bedtime.
the true urgency to self-imposed deadlines has been realized. there is no race. there is no finish line.
and through this slowing of time, i’ve discovered things about life…
that we live directly under a flight path meaning that airplanes fly overhead nearly every ten minutes, that the swaying trees look like a rippling sea when the wind blows and it’s slightly mesmerizing to watch, that you can always find a bug or insect no matter where you are, that the moon is out during the day more often than you think, and that those extra ten minutes in bed reading in the morning are worth more than you think.
so these days, when my body sinks into the bed at night, my mind isn’t racing with whats, whens, and whys
because each and every day is enough.
oh, cleaning and scrubbing, but children grow up, as i’ve learned to my sorrow. so quiet down cobwebs. dust go to sleep. i’m rocking my baby. babies don’t keep. – ruth hulbert hamilton