Enjoy the Moments That Make a Life
What does everyday life have to do with watching reality shows on TV? I’m about to tell you! In fact, let’s talk about how to enjoy the moments that make a life. An ordinary, yet extraordinary, life like yours and mine.
One of my guilty pleasures is watching reality shows.
There are a handful of them that tickle my fancy and allow me to decompress so that I can play on my little screen, while watching the big screen, in a truly healthy, winding-down fashion.
It’s like I’m a Jedi of relaxation!
Well, the other night- which can mean any time between my birth and this very second- we were watching one of those reality shows, and the woman the show centers around gave birth.
Are you a mama who’s able to watch, or hear about, another mama’s birth and not instantly roll into nostalgia like butter on hot toast of the moment you locked eyes on that little miracle you made?
No matter what kind of day I had, I am not one of those people.
I get teary, and all the “ remember when…”s start falling out of my mouth like I’m being interrogated, and I start admitting how much I spent at Target. Just memories on memories on memories.
Until this past year, whenever those moments popped into my noggin, it was all baby-mama-daddy centric. But, on this particular night, my scope of memories expanded another dimension.
I thought about the dark-haired nurse who, following the birth of our only daughter, found me in the bathroom of my hospital room, alone. My husband was deployed, my birth team had gone home to check on our house, and one of my very best friends was keeping our oldest so I’d be able to have a worry-free first separation from him.
Without a second thought, that dark-haired nurse hit her knees and helped me as I struggled with that gorgeous pair of mesh undies. So selflessly, so naturally, so lovingly. For whatever reason, in that moment, I was mortified. But she treated me like I was the only person she’d care for that day. Like I was the reason she got up that morning.
I thought about the anesthesiologist who was by my side at another birth–my very-unplanned c-section. My husband was not deployed for that birth, but he was still being prepped outside the OR. However calm I thought I was, I apparently impressively lacked a poker face.
During the time (that felt like a thousand minutes) between my arrival and my husband’s in that OR, that sweet anesthesiologist stroked my hair and whispered that no one was braver than I was and that everything was working out beautifully. Being that we don’t find out the sex of our littles beforehand, he told me how great our name choices were and that our lives were about to get even better in a matter of minutes. He was gentle in a way that calmed me on a molecular level.
They didn’t have to be that way with me.
They didn’t have to treat me like I was a part of their family. They didn’t have to treat me like it was their job to squash the nervousness that came from my vulnerability.
It reminded me how it’s really the small moments that make a life.
You remember the proms or the wedding day or when you bought your first house.
But, it’s really the moment your person stroked your hair at 2 a.m. when the Waffle House gave you food poisoning and you thought you were nearing the end of times. It’s really the time your friend shows up with a pregnancy test, because you were late, and dinner for the kids because your husband was out of town and you were all cry-faced, exhausted, and unshowered because those little people launched a sneak attack. It’s even the moment you got that text that someone, out-of-the-blue, thought of you for no apparent reason.
It’s the small moments that make a life.
But, don’t forget that that truth applies to you, too.
Don’t overlook what you’ve done for your not-so-little-anymore baby as you make casual conversation when you set the table; or you take the time to walk them through multiple-digit multiplication; or they hear you tell your sister how hard they’re working on that writing prompt.
You didn’t have to be that way with them.
As mamas, we have such a subconscious tendency to think that our moments have to be perfect or Instagram-worthy or milestone-y to be meaningful.
Homeschooling can be challenging and frustrating and absolutely beautiful. It can bring out the best in us and the worst in us.
But, we still show up. Every time.
You gave your daughter that little squeeze on the arm when the lesson finally clicked for her. You celebrated your son for completing that science experiment. You wiped the teary face of the child who thought they’d never read fluently. You took them out to breakfast for their birthday. Because we’re homeschoolers. And that is our right!
It’s the small moments.
You may not be paid for all your effort. But your payout will be priceless.
Your imprint will be felt in the confidence you inspired, the love you gave, the grace you extended.
You’re a whole set of little people’s small moment.
You’re the moment they’ll call back to when they meet their behemoth, whatever that may be, but they don’t give up.
Because you didn’t.
You’re their anesthesiologist, you’re their nurse, you’re their advocate who rallies with Ms. Frizzle and a math lesson wrapped inside cookie-baking on a day that’s not quite as smooth as the others.
You’re the one who, years from now, the mere mention of will bring tears to their eyes because you reached their hearts while teaching their minds.
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