Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Slowing down to savor the simple joy, today

Too often we sacrifice opportunities for joy-inspiring moments today, in exchange for anticipated joy tomorrow. At least I do. And I've been reminded that while I'm looking forward to the next big thing -- crawling, more noises, pincer grips -- the simple joys of every day are quietly passing me by, unnoticed, unappreciated, uncelebrated. My little boy's two-toothed-smiles, belly wiggles, sudden shrieks -- each day they're disappearing into yesterdays, fading from memory because I'm too busy looking forward to stop, pay close attention and cherish the small joys today.

I've been inspired by another woman's unimaginable hope, steadfast resolve and unrelenting faith in life's beauty and magic. Inspired to slow down. To savor the simple moments each day that could bring such joy to my heart, if only I would acknowledge them, relish them.

Kelle is an amazing writer, amazing photographer, amazing mother. I have never met her, but this much I know. Kelle is also an amazing soul searching for -- and finding -- beauty and joy in a new way of life she never imagined. Her universe was turned upside-down a couple of weeks ago, when she welcomed her second daughter into the world, heart-wrenchingly aware as soon as she looked into Nella's eyes that her beautiful baby has Downs Syndrome. Kelle is working each day at turning tragedy into triumph, learning to re-imagine the future, struggling with thoughts and fears I can't even begin to comprehend.

Because when I do start to imagine myself in her shoes, I shut down. Tears-streaming-down-my-face, terror-in-my-heart, unanswerable-questions-haunting-my-brain shut down. Because life, when looked at as a bigger picture, is so often scary and complex and sad. Because for as many hopes as I have for my son, and as big as my dreams for him are, there are equally as many fears and infinitely greater dread. Because for all the little boys who grow up to be rock stars or professional athletes or talented executives, there are just as many who get cancer. Suffer debilitating accidents. Develop mental handicaps.

And because for as strong as I like to believe I am, I know I'm just not strong enough to handle that kind of stuff. The kind of stuff that no amount of love in the world can prevent and no amount of forward planning can preclude from happening.

And as morbid as such thoughts are, sometimes a bird's eye view of the big, bad world can inspire a greater, more concentrated attention to the simple, little things in life that have the potential to bring happiness, each and every day.

Today, my son smiled at me when I peeked over his crib to greet him this morning. Today, I got to experience the peace, contentment and sleepy serenity of snuggle snacks not once, but twice before I left for work. Today, my son serenaded me with a little baby-nonsense song while I took a shower. Today, my son made me laugh out loud because he yammed his belly full of milk all over himself just as Daddy was ready to head out the door.

Today my life is beautiful because of my son, my husband. Not because of how clean my floors are or because my hampers are empty. Not because our pantry is full of just-in-case-we-need-it ingredients or because our freezers are full of little, just-we-may-need-them-someday baggies of milk. My life is beautiful today in spite of all of life's mundane details and planning ahead. It's beautiful today because of the love in my heart, the innocent wonder in my son's eyes and the hope and joy I share with my beloved husband.

Tomorrow always has the potential to be scary. I'm confident many tomorrows will bring pain and tears and fears and desperation -- for me, for my husband, for our son.

But today: today my life is as perfect as I could hope, and my love is as big and beautiful as I allow it to be.

1 comment:

Becki said...

Beautiful! It's interesting how having a baby can make life speed up so much, but also make you consider almost daily the need to slow down and take it all in. Thanks for another reminder.