Home > Love, Parenting, Reflections > To be more

To be more

I’ve spent a lot of time skirting Tearsville recently.

Tonight, having read my five-year-old son to sleep, I saw what was clutched in his fist and smiled. Item one: a chopstick. Item two: beads from Sunday’s pride parade.

Returning the chopstick to the kitchen, I smiled anew recalling two memories freshly made there. (How happy my mom would be to hear I’m making memories in the kitchen! That’s twenty steps above memory-making while pregnant and clothing shopping with my husband.)

Tonight my older son, Li’l D, asked me to show him again how to use his brother’s new EpiPen. We sat on a wooden chair in the middle of our kitchen, swapping the test pen as he tried over and over again. “He could die without it, if he eats egg?” Li’l D asked as he shoved the pen against his leg.

“Yes, which means you could save his life, if he eats egg.”

Li’l D beamed with pride at being entrusted with such a responsibility, even hypothetically.

Just a night before in almost the exact same spot, my boys sat and played together on the kitchen floor while I prepared dinner.

My toddler, Littler J, began wailing. “What happened?” I asked Li’l D, a little sharply. (Never again will I ask, “What did you do?!” or any variation thereof.)

“I just tried testing the pen on him!” cried Li’l D, revealing the extended test “needle” as he pulled Littler J to himself and comforted him.

“Oh, sweetie,” I said with a tousle of his hair. “You use the test pen on yourself. You only use the test pen on the baby if he really, really needs it because he’s having an allergic reaction. It’s very sweet of you to be concerned.”

Li’l D rocked Littler J until he stopped bawling and started babbling again.

I am overwhelmed thinking of these small, enormous moments. Happily overwhelmed.

There’s lots of big, distressing stuff on my mind these days. But when I’m in the moment, this very moment of breathing and listening and feeling and wonder, instead of versions of others moments future and past, distress lives far away.

I find I probably don’t need to think more to solve my problems.

I simply need to be here more.

To be more.

  1. May 19, 2015 at 9:10 pm

    Sorry about all the distressing stuff – and blessed, again, as you share how you rise above them. Life in the moment … That’s something I need to do more.

    • May 19, 2015 at 9:12 pm

      ♡ This moment is pretty darn good, and with only dishes and Hulu to explain that … externally!

  2. jottlings
    May 19, 2015 at 9:58 pm

    Fantastic. As usual. Ditto the worries about big things but they go away when I am in the moment.

    • May 21, 2015 at 7:52 pm

      I had a chance to practice this today. “Gah! So many big things! So much to juggle!” Then I stopped and looked around me at everything physically around me and it seemed so bizarre I should be anywhere else. I’m going to keep practicing being here. I have high hopes for it. 🙂

      • jottlings
        May 21, 2015 at 7:54 pm

        I heard Simon and Garfunkels ‘Cecelia’ and thought of you. Then Flock of Seagulls ‘I ran (far away)’ came on and that made me beam away in my minivan : )

  3. May 20, 2015 at 12:13 am

    Heart felt hugs and oceans of caring.

  4. May 20, 2015 at 3:20 am

    Chopsticks, beads and memories. Being in the moment, if only for a moment before life intrudes, it is enough sometimes to remind us. The distressing stuff can turn our heads, fortunate you have things to remind you to get out of your head and back into life. Fortunate for the rest of us you share them, reminding us to get out of our own heads and back into life as well.

    • May 21, 2015 at 7:54 pm

      You should know that you are a part of what grounds me, even after only a couple of phone calls over a couple of years. Sometimes I imagine I’m talking to you and absorbing your warmth and compassion, or availing myself of your critical insight. It helps, greatly. (Thank you.)

      So, too, do things like those chopsticks. When did he grab it? How did he slip it by me? How, having laid with him for 10 or 15 minutes, did I notice it only when asleep? So many answers I’ll never have. Fortunately, I don’t need the answers to just enjoy the heck out of these little, invigorating surprises.

      Last night, too, one more stressor was removed. With its weight lifted … oh, anything feels possible, just about!

  5. May 20, 2015 at 4:55 am

    Yesterday was rough between work and personal and I spent the day struggling not to succumb! I refuse to state that I am overwhelmed, because I’m not, I never am, there is enough time… and last night when I finally got to yoga, my only intention was to Be. To just be present. To just be with me. To just Be.
    And it felt good 🙂 So, I’m glad you could just Be in that moment.

    • May 21, 2015 at 8:00 pm

      I’m so glad that works for you, but that’s a distressing approach for me! Genuinely distressing.

      I believed I could make anything possible by sheer force of will before I wrote “My Manif-YES-to.” That post marked a turning point for me. It was my recognizing what truly was instead of trying to reshape what truly was by my perception alone. It was only by learning to say, “YES, I am overwhelmed,” that I could start assessing why and figuring out ways to change that by addressing the root causes.

      Without that “yes,” without my acknowledging that sometimes there’s not enough time and too much to do, any and all my responses are treating the symptom. They’re me trying to calm a sense of unrightness that is better treated at its root instead of only way up where it hits the sun.

      Right now, I am overwhelmed. There is not enough time. But I know this is not the way it will always be, because I am slowly, bit by bit, finding ways to address the root cause, knowing that doing so will take me away–eventually–from having to accept, for now, only treating the symptom.

      • May 26, 2015 at 11:22 am

        LOL, I love how totally different we are in our approach! differences like this always amaze me and help me realize what amazing creatures we are!

  6. Deb
    May 20, 2015 at 6:40 am

    What an amazing big brother, and an amazing mom 🙂

  7. May 20, 2015 at 9:03 am

    a chopstick? Love that, oddly, my son (11 years old) has developmental motor skills issue and so he typically fists his fork and shovels food into his mouth. We actually have to look into a physical therapist. Things are just awkward and difficult for him, so it’s interesting to me- that he likes eating with chopsticks. I can’t use them to save my life, and he has difficulty using utensils… yet he likes the chopstick. So, when I read your post, I kept smiling over the chopstick. What is the fascination?

    • May 21, 2015 at 8:04 pm

      I don’t get it! I lived in South Korea for a few months, and then in Japan for a year and a half, so I’m pretty skilled with chopsticks … but Li’l D, not so much. The one he held was one I was gifted right before I left Japan, so it was super sweet to look at that juxtaposition of then and now and wonder what was his fascination.

      Also, reading your posts about your 11yo makes me feel a little rage-y. I wish I knew how to focus that rage. How can we not see that trying to fit everyone into one tidy educational box fails so, so very many? How can we not remember how fun and full of life our own classrooms were just ten years ago and not be uncomfortable? I am wishing all the best for you and yours, and hoping for future classrooms that more resemble the ones I so loved in my own childhood.

  8. May 20, 2015 at 10:08 am

    There’s nothing like the sweetness of children to be a balm on the tough parts of life. Hope you’re doing better.

    • May 21, 2015 at 8:08 pm

      I am, thank you. There’ve been a couple of objective changes, but more than that, there’ve been a couple of quiet but important perspective shifts. Some of that, I think, has to do with community here. Thank you. ♥

  9. May 20, 2015 at 12:19 pm

    such a sweet read monster. thanks for this. beautiful you and your babes are gonna be ok 😉

    • May 21, 2015 at 8:12 pm

      Thank you! I think so, too, from this vantage point today, lifted up by kind people offering kind words. I am so grateful. ♥

  10. May 21, 2015 at 5:32 pm

    “Living in the moment” sounds like so much new-age psychobabble. And it also sounds like such good advice.

    • May 21, 2015 at 7:50 pm

      You nailed this! When I think of living in the now, I think of (i) people who talk about chakras and/or (ii) Garth, a la Wayne’s World, saying, “Live in the now! You’ll never afford it!” But when it gets right down to it, it really is a great way to feel closer to peace. Even today I found myself getting worked up and thought, “Okay, so how about this moment?” This moment, then, was fine. I was safe, my kids were safe and happy, and my husband was doing what he loved. I really did find refuge in this moment. I would just like to remember to do so more often!

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