Like all women, I have a lot going on in my life right now.
My oldest boys (twins) graduate high school next week.
My youngest promotes to middle school.
I made the hard decision that this is my last year as an elementary school health aide, so I can pursue my passion in nutrition. My time at the school has been ideal – I work with wonderful, selfless teachers and staff who give everything they have, every day. I get to see my son at work, and I have the same holidays and vacation time as my children.
Alas, my kids are growing, and I feel the need to grow as well.
With all of these life events (although exciting) comes stress. I want everything to go well. I want my kids to have great memories of this time in their lives. I have a million things to do. I want to check, check, check these things off my list so I can start the next chapter.
Today my youngest tells me he wants to wear a tie to his promotion ceremony. This coming from a kid who would wear pajamas to school if he could. “Are you sure?” I ask. “You’re only going to wear it for an hour.” “Yes,” he says. “I want to look snazzy for my big day.” How you say no to that? So off we go to the mall, and on the way I think about everything else that still needs to be done – all the unchecked boxes.
Then I tell myself, STOP.
Stop rushing and worrying. Stop counting the days until this event or that.
What I should be doing is savoring these moments. These last few mornings of my youngest and me singing in the car together on the way to school. The last few months of my oldest boys at home, before they run off and grow up. And the last few days as a health aide, taking care of little people and enjoying all the funny things they have to say.
I need to BE PRESENT. To be fully aware and engaged, not thinking about the future or the to-do list.
we I tend to do that too often. We look for the next big event, the vacation, the weekend. While those things are a beautiful part of life, so are the little everyday events. The insignificant events.
Like picking out a promotion tie with your 11 year old. Or feeling like your heart will burst because he still wants to hold your hand.
I know those days are numbered, and I will be present for every single one.