Monday, September 14, 2009

A lesson from a dandelion

Below is something I wrote earlier in the summer. I'm entering it in the Mommy Moment contest at Baby Makin(g) Machine.

I was playing with the boys out on the swing set, and as I pushed the swings, I surveyed the back yard, which had become a half-acre field of yellow dandelions. I muttered something about telling Hubby to treat the yard, and Logan asked me why. “Well, to get rid of all these dandelions,” I replied.
Logan was horrified.
“But why Mom? They’re so beautiful!” he said.
I looked around the yard again, but through different eyes. This time, I saw the dandelions not as weeds, but as flowers—bright little suns, all over the yard. Logan was right, they were beautiful. I was transported back to the days when I would gleefully search out the first spring dandelion and pick it so I could present it to my mother. She saw them as weeds, too.
A couple days later, that sunny yellow field of a backyard had changed. It was now covered in a gray fluffy mist. The dandelions had gone to seed. We walked outside and Logan was shocked. Where had all the flowers gone? I picked one of the fuzzy stalks and explained to him that the dandelions had were different now. He blew on one experimentally, watching the seeds scatter in the slight breeze. Somehow, though, they just weren’t as magical as the little yellow suns, and he let the empty stem fall to the ground and ran off in search of other pursuits.
Not too long after that, Jordan reached four months old, and I was shaken. Four months already? Where had the time gone? When Logan was an infant, I was committed to making the most of every single second of his babyhood. I spent hours watching him sleep, breathe, play. I talked to him. I centered my life around his. Every waking moment (and many sleeping moments too) belonged to him. With Jordan, I am just as fully committed to enjoying him but the moments seem more fleeting. I guess it’s because I’m pulled in more directions now. It’s not just me and the baby all day, every day. I have a four-year-old, too, and I am trying to treasure his breaths as well.
It’s a difficult task, trying to be fully present for both my sons. The precious minutes, days and weeks happen and fade out of my sight like a camera flash. I’m left with the snapshots of my memories, but I feel like I’m always missing one panorama as I capture another.
But the worst part is that occasionally there are days when I find myself wishing it was bed time, or wishing it was time for Daddy to get home, so one of our little planets can go gravitate around him for a while. And sometimes—I hate to even put this down in black and white—I find myself wishing I could just disappear for a day or so, all by myself.
I know it’s only natural for a mom to get worn out from being constantly in demand. It’s perfectly acceptable to look forward to a break, but I have a very serious case of Mom Guilt (it’s not on WebMD but it should be) when it comes to looking out for myself.
The Mom Guilt kicks into overdrive when I dare to wish away even a moment of time with my boys, because I know how fast they grow. I know how Logan grew from four days old to four months old to four years old in just the blink of an eye. Jordan was just born yesterday, but now he’s four months old, and tomorrow he’ll be four years old and Logan will be eight!
Every moment with my boys is precious, even the ones when they’re both crying or otherwise driving me insane. Those are the times when I have to force myself to step back and look at life through fresh eyes, to realize that these moments are more like flower petals than weeds.
To realize that, like a dandelion seed caught in the warm breath of a four-year-old boy, these beautiful times will all too soon be gone, scattered to the wind, and my arms will be empty like the forgotten dandelion stem.


Nicole @ said...

Oh this is a beautiful post. Unless you are actually a mother to more than one child I don't think you can really appreciate this. It's crazy. Mom guilt takes on a whole new meaning. And all we can do is do our best. And love our little ones the best we can. :-)

Kayce said...

I am judging the Mommy Moment for Baby Making Machine -

What a perfect way to describe time going by. I love the image it creates and the feelings it exemplifies.

Great post!