Thursday, May 28
A few weeks ago, we had the privilege of attending our nieces’ graduation from Franciscan University. Playing, sitting around together talking, being in the moment, present to who’s in front of you are all things that are difficult for me to do when I’m at home. All I can see are the things that need to get done. Even the computer screen yells at me, “You haven’t blogged all week!” That whole slowing life down thing has been difficult for me to maintain, what with all the non-stop action that is the month of May. I felt like I always do after traveling to Ohio and back again in the course of one weekend: exhausted. Experiencing a graduation at Franciscan University and all its festivities helped me, exhausted though I was, to see the world through the eyes of a college grad. In many ways, it is the same as seeing the world through the eyes of a child. They’re not thinking for one second about where they need to be! They dwell in the present moment without giving a thought to what needs to happen next or where they need to be tomorrow.
What on earth is the purpose of the busy-ness of life if we can’t put all of our responsibilities to the back burner and stop and enjoy the people and things around us? I personally become quite resentful and even angry when I spend my days only “doing.” Yesterday evening, after having dinner with the children, I handed out some homemade popsicles and sat down on the front porch to read some books that had just arrived from Amazon. I could hardly believe it when I looked around me and saw all five children, popsicles in hand, listening intently to the stories I was reading. As I finished the last book, they finished their treats and ran off toward their bikes to ride around the cul de sac in their own little pack. As I reflect on it now I see: I’m not the only one who needs to live in the moment. The children went to bed last night with tired bodies and full hearts, just from that extra time we spent together on the porch. It’s not that simple though, is it? I know I struggle to make time to “just be” with my children. I don’t really know why that is, especially since I have so many older siblings who tell me regularly to, “Enjoy this time!” and, “You’ll miss it terribly when they’re out of the house!” and “I’d give anything to have little ones to take care of right now.” I get it, I do, but when you’re in it it can be so very difficult to appreciate the simplicity of this life. I guess my resolution, until I forget all about it and need to reign it in again, is to act more like a college kid or a toddler.