This is 31 Days of Right Here, not 31 Days of Hoarding Your Life’s Moments or 31 Days of Not Missing A Single Solitary Thing.
As I continue writing, I realize all the ways this 31 days is not a try harder, do more message, but largely an invitation to let go.
Since childhood, I’ve held much space for hurt, suffering, beauty and joy. I’m not one who compartmentalizes well, and so the personal, communal, global, physical, spiritual — the right here, the out there — they all sit inside, each part affecting another.
And I can struggle with the desire to make it all make sense in its totality, to make it right, even perfect. I could tell you many a story of how this quest for perfect moments wasted many true moments in my life because once I put my hammer and chisel to form what was into my picture of what’s right, pieces of authentic beauty crumbled right off.
The other night, Michael and I watched an episode of Parenthood. If you’ve been reading here for a while, you may remember how much my husband and I love this show, how often it makes one or both of us cry.
Toward the end of this particular episode, we watched Crosby feed his baby girl her first bottle and witnessed the moment when his heart opened to truly see her and, therefore, truly love her. Something about those sleep-deprived eyes and a baby gaze holding fast started my tears flowing.
“I can’t believe that stage of our lives is over,” I said between sobs. “It felt so long when we were in it, and then it was just over.”
I can hardly fathom that Sici’s nose was ever so tiny, can barely recall the sounds J made as a baby, can scarcely remember how I filled my days with Lala when she was two, and I wonder how these full human beings were ever so totally dependent upon me and where these years have gone.
Occasionally, I’ll have these moments when I doubt I’ve carpe diemed enough, when the mother-guilts spring up and tell me that because those early days are fading in my memory, I must not have done enough, appreciated enough, enjoyed enough — as if their growing up is an indictment, and not a gift.
“I can’t believe those days are over,” I cried. “And there are so many parts I hardly remember.”
“But we lived it,” Michael said. “We lived it.”
As all these life moments present themselves, we want to grab hold, yes. But today may I invite you to release the belief that you are going to be able to hold it all as you live it.
All of us, parents or not, are going to miss some important stuff, and we’ll forget things we want to remember, and we’ll focus too hard on the things we want to let roll on by.
We’ll mess up, hurt people we love, complain too much, stumble through half awake, miss a family moment because we’re checking our phones.
We’ll wonder why we can’t just get over our snit or hers or his, and then we’ll see the sunrise or the shock of coral tree, that toothy grin, feel that arm wrapped in ours, and it will bring us back to right here grace, where we always are.
This is Day 19 of Right Here. Throughout October, I’m joining with a community of bloggers (linking up with The Nester) — all of whom are writing each day of the month about a topic of their choosing. To find all posts in 31 Days of Right Here, click here, or see the listing below.
To continue receiving these daily words, subscribe to this blog on the sidebar at left, click here to Like Draw Near on Facebook or follow me on Twitter @AshleyMLarkin. I am immensely grateful to share the journey with you.
POSTS IN THE SERIES
An introduction: Welcome to 31 Days of Right Here
Day 1: For You, Too
Day 2: Fear’s Invitation
Day 3: My Portion
Day 4: Five Minute Friday – Write
Day 5: Rise and Shine
Day 6: My Joys Mount As Do the Birds
Day 7: A Mother’s Fierce Love
Day 8: When Life’s A Mad Rush – How To Slow Time
Day 9: The Fight For Right Here Told Through Two Tales of Epic Whining (Part I)
Day 10: The Fight For Right Here Told Through Two Tales of Epic Whining (Part II)
Day 11: Five Minute Friday: Ordinary
Day 12: When Right Here’s A Mess
Day 13: O God, We Thank You
Day 14: The Date That Almost Wasn’t
Day 15: One Thing That Makes Us Human
Day 16: That We Might See And Remember
Day 17: In Which I Hit A Wall
Day 18: Five Minute Friday: Laundry
Day 19: When You Can’t Hold All The Moments