"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."
It’s true. My twins are turning ten next month, and it seems like it was just yesterday that we brought them home from the hospital. My husband and I were laughing the other day talking about when someone mentions the nineties and we’re thinking that was about ten years ago, right? I know that our particular situation made it seem like everything was moving much faster. Three children under three to start out with; life didn’t just move fast, life was a blur!
There are huge chunks of time, especially during those first five crazy years that I can barely even remember. Friends ask me questions about the kids like “When did Joey first walk?” or “What was Cy’s first word?” My response: “I have no clue!” I just didn’t have the energy to focus on committing those things to memory. To be honest, I do have one baby book for the twins where I think that I managed to get the majority of it written down. So, even though I don’t know these things I could look them up. Rory’s moments are still all collected in a box in the closet because I never got around to putting the baby book together.
So yes, in this blur that is my life it’s very important to stop and look around. I know this…and it’s really hard. How do I even do that? When there are dishes in the sink and kid garbage all over the floor…I’m supposed to just look around? It’s like yoga or meditation for me. Some people find those practices are relaxing and fun. (I admire those people.) I’d actually rather do the dishes. I don’t like going slow I like getting things done.
The trick is to keep it simple. A moment is just a moment. Who’s to say that enjoying the random chaos that is your life can’t be done in the course of one big deep breath? I take lots of them, I try to stop and take them often. I take them when the sunset is pretty. I take them when my kids are being particularly cute. I take them, several of them, when the mess the children made is truly terrible and I don’t know weather to scream or just crack up.
It’s not some giant exercise that’s hard to remember to do. It’s easy. I guess that I have found a way to make it a habit and it seems to be working for me. The more often that I am able to take a step back and look at what is going on all around me, the more I enjoy my life. More importantly, the more often I look around, the more I enjoy my kids, my family. Even in the midst of the disasters and the arguments…my kids are still really cool little people, and if I can get over my own anger in the moment they are actually frigging hilarious!
So yes. Ferris was absolutely right. We need to stop for a moment, however brief a moment we can afford, and look around. One of my very favorite movies is called “Home for the Holidays.” In it is one of my favorite actors; Charles Durning. Towards the end of the film we see him sitting and watching old home videos. He explains to his adult daughter that he wishes he had every moment of his children’s childhoods on video, so that he could watch them over and over again. I like to believe that the afterlife is like that. When I die I hope that it all comes rushing back to me, every moment in perfect clarity. Until then, I’m doing my best to stop and look around. I don’t want to miss it.