It’s Saturday morning. I have a cake to bake, a present to buy and clothes to plan for a party this afternoon. All that can wait. I am heading out for a long walk.
Children have a way of quickly putting things back in perspective for you. Some days, I get badly caught up in managing our lives, running from one chore to another, stressing about work, making plans with DH and worrying about DD. I do not realize that we are just dragging her along as we race through this maze called life. These are days that I also go off-track and fail to identify her basic needs while I figure out how to cope with bigger issues.
I am exhausted but I soldier on. I know I need a break but I have forgotten how to slow down. I cannot see if things are working to plan but I have to keep going because there is so much ground to cover in so little time. Then, just as I see my destination up ahead, she yanks at the bit and everything comes to a grinding halt. Either she fell sick or she just decided that she was sick of it all. Tantrums. Behaviour that yells out to me,
Please! Stop! I need a break!
That is all it takes to put things back into perspective for me. When she decides she has had enough and demands my attention in a way I cannot ignore, I drop everything and grab her up in my arms. I protect her, hug her and give her what she needs right then. It is a humbling experience. Suddenly, all that I have been working for seems meaningless. When she has an asthma attack, that important meeting at work or phone call to the tax consultant lose significance. All that matters is this moment with her. When she is screaming at the train station, lying on the platform and thrashing her legs, and I am trying to gather all her limbs into one big scoop, I drop everything else to concentrate on the task at hand. One slip is all it would take to have her rolling off into an accident I do not even want to imagine.
Almost always, that is enough to give me a moment to reflect. That is enough to put things back into focus. Difficult problems solve themselves just by me getting back on track and make me wonder why I don’t stop more often. Having a baby has made me realize that I can actually get off the race tracks and drive slower, in order to enjoy the scenery. Life still goes on. Nothing falls apart when I take a minute to enjoy the smell of wet mud after the rains. I watch my daughter gingerly touch the leaves of a bush outside our gate, that I’d never really noticed. She is right. Thank God for her. I have been given another shot at living life, not merely existing.