I finally have a few minutes to myself. The boys are out, the baby is upstairs asleep, and there’s no pressing work to do. It’s Saturday morning. All is still.
My mind whirrs into action, trying to figure out what to do with this precious gift of time. Do I sit and write? Cook? Clean? Declutter? Do I call a friend? Dust off my yoga mat and move my body?
I choose to meditate. It’s been way too long.
I grab a cushion, sit myself down among the toys strewn around the floor. I set a timer for 20 minutes. On one hand it seems like nothing – I used to sit for an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening – and on the other hand… 20 uninterrupted minutes? That’s an eternity.
The bell dings, I settle in. My mind is a mess. Loud and frenetic. But of course, after a few minutes, it starts to settle. I sink into that familiar old sensation of being here. In the moment. In my body first and then in my mind.
At 9 minutes and 45 seconds a different bells dings – Little A, crying upstairs. At first I wait, maybe she’ll go back to sleep. Not happening.
So I take my meditation upstairs with me, I notice the cold of the stairs on my feet as I run up to her. I gather her up in her blankets and smell her little chocolate milkshake smell. I notice how my heart swells.
Something’s bothering her. She twists in my arms. So big and so expressive yet still such a baby.
For once, I’m actually there with her. Not looking at my phone over her shoulder, not wishing she’d hurry up and get to sleep so I can start getting GG into bed, or get back to work, or go to sleep myself.
She gets herself comfortable in the nook of my elbow, rests her little head and drifts back off. She reaches for my face in her sleep.
And I’m still there, still meditating, present with her. I am hers and she is mine. I’m pretty sure I can feel the oxytocin flooding my body.
I look down at her peaceful face and realize I don’t take photos of her sleeping anymore. I used to do it all the time when she was little. Another reminder that time is passing. As it always does. That it’ll pass no matter what.
To be honest, at first when I heard her voice as I was meditating I felt annoyed. I can’t even get 20 minutes uninterrupted.
But as I snuggled her back into her bed I felt so grateful I could cry. I feel so far away from my kids through long days at the office during the week. Through rushed bedtimes and difficult mornings.
This is the antidote – actually being with them when I’m with them.
She relaxes into her bed and I come back downstairs, free again. Time to chop veggies, sort out bags for the new week, tidy up a bit. Maybe I’ll finish the meditation later. It’s the usual grind, but hopefully I can be a little more present as I move through it.