Thursday, October 8, 2009

Slowing Down

Thinking this morning about motherhood, and how the illness of a child can change the course of an hour, or a day, or a week, or a lifetime. The hours spent worrying through the night age you in a way that no one but a parent can understand, and it makes you wonder about all the other things out there to worry about. What else besides the flu can inflict harm on your most precious possessions? How much more worrying is there to do in this lifetime when it comes to your kids?

It's endless, I suppose. Makes me think of Erma Bombeck, whose writings I loved so much growing up. I was a kid reading her stuff, and now I'm a mom wondering what nuggets of humor and wisdom I might find if I happened upon those books again.

Mostly over these last 48 hours, I've thought about how thoughtful Emma can be. I've noticed that she really does still have that baby smell about her. Noticed how her eyes speak as much as her mouth does, and how she will caress the person who is holding her as much to comfort them as herself. I've noticed that she has an inherent need to help - to improve, to expedite anything I am doing, but not so much when it comes to her little world. And I've enjoyed every minute of holding her - worry or not.

A second child does steal something away from the first, and it's nothing more than a sad fact of life. The way so many of were raised - we just accepted everything that happened our way. Of course, as issues tend to do - parenting ended up in the spotlight and became something that can be easily overdone. It IS possible to try too hard as a parent - possible to worry too much - to hover needlessly - to micromanage the nature of growth and development.
And it's funny how simple the antidote for this really is . . .

Sit still with a child. Look them in the eyes when they speak. Watch them when they play alone. Hold them when they're sleeping.

We're always looking for something to calm us - to slow us down - to give us peace. Yoga, working out, vacations, a nice, cold drink (this one, I've found, DOES work.) The truth is, slowing down slows us down. Taking a nice, long, appreciative look at what we have slows us down. Children slow us down, and it's funny how most hectic, activity-filled days, this fact serves as an irritant more than a blessing.