Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Zen Mommy 1.0

There is a famous Buddhist tale about a cup of tea. If you can hold it in your hands and feel the warmth, breathe in the aroma, feel the hot steam on your face, each sip becomes much more than a sip. It is no longer a cup of tea, but a whole experience to enjoy and savor. There are days I try to remember this. Motherhood is a constant challenge to be present. Some days I get impatient. If Phoebe misses a nap or wakes up in the night, or gets cranky (which is not very often) I have to fight my rising irritation. There are days I am just exhausted or more focused on getting things done; making breakfast, packing lunch for school, watching the clock to get bath time and books done before it gets too late, that I forget to stop inside those beautiful moments. But when I do, I am filled with a calm and joyful feeling of motherhood.

Last week, we had a beautiful Spring streak of good weather. We were out in the park, on the big swings with Phoebe sitting on my lap butterfly style. Up and back we went, hanging onto each other, swinging and singing and enjoying the day. I felt it when she climbed onto my lap at bedtime and wanted to be rocked like the baby she once was. Wasn't it was just a moment ago that I rocked her to sleep in that chair? Now we barely fit on it together. But we rocked, and we sang and she let me hug that delicious frame tight. Mama and her sweet babe blissfully as one. Even on the rare occasion when she wakes up from a nap, crying inconsolably, I just hold her, smell her hair, hum a calming tune and wait for her cries to slow and come to a rest. The other night, Jeff was home for bedtime and sat with us in the flop spot while we read books. Phoebe took a blanket, put it over his legs and hugged his knees. She looked up at him and said, "Handsome Daddy." My heart just swelled. In those moments, I am the Zen mommy I'd like to be. I am present with my girl and nothing else in the world exists. The trick is to tap into those calm places all the time. That why I'm only at 1.0. Perhaps someday, I'll progress to the next level. Or worse, I'll go back to work and be more stressed and too tired to see those moments when they come. I hope that's not the case. I also hope I win the lottery, but I won't hold my breath. For now, I'll take the moments as they come, knowing full well that this time won't last. The only constant in our world is change and a change will certainly come. Phoebe is changing and growing all the time. These days she likes to say "I'm a big girl." Or "I'm growin' up." Yes, my sweet, all that is true, but not so fast, okay?

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