I'm not good at being Present. Being In The Moment. I'm always in my head, planning, worrying, thinking about my to-do list. It's a quality that makes me a good organizer, but it doesn't always come in handy as I'm parenting. One of the things people most often say when you have a baby is, "Cherish this time. They won't be this small forever." But most of the mothers (at least first time mothers) I know get too bogged down in the day-to-day exhausting minutia of caring for a baby, a toddler, a preschooler, to really enjoy what's happening right in front of them. I do, at least. Especially in the past few years I've tended to focus on the negative and my brain just gets stuck there.
Well, I knew it was time for a change when I realized that my negativity was starting to annoy me. I was getting sick of my own carousel of thoughts that just went round and round and did nothing for me. So recently I've been trying to make a concerted effort to change my thinking habits. To enjoy fun, happy times as they're happening. Not necessarily documenting them for posterity, but just being joyful in the moment.
Over the weekend we went to a birthday party where the boys each received huge bubble wands. So yesterday afternoon we headed to the backyard to try them out. I wasn't expecting much. Ben usually gets sick of blowing bubbles pretty quickly and Sam just gets mad when I won't let him stick the soap in his mouth. But this time both Ben and Sam were content to let me be the bubble master. As I filled the air with huge bubbles I realized that this was A Moment. I willed myself to mentally put down the to-do list and simply exist with my boys. I listened to Sam erupt into giggles every time a wave of bubbles came for him. I watched Ben stick out his arms and fly through the bubbles as a plane. I gazed at the blue, blue sky and enjoyed the shade of our backyard. I tried really hard to ignore the fact that my hand was getting all sticky from the bubble solution.
Overall, I think I succeeded. Admittedly, I did start writing this blog post in my head before we were even done playing, but I think it helped me take notice of details I might not have otherwise. And admittedly, I got bored with the bubbles long before they did. But I had a lot of fun imagining that what I had wasn't a plastic stick and some soap, but a magic wand creating bubbles out of thin air.