In the Moment

Lately, when E and I leave the gym, she's really into holding my hand and saying, "mommy jump!" Off the sidewalk, off the curb, off the grass, anywhere.  And well, her version of a jump is getting into a low crouch, then standing up straight really fast, aaaand...taking a step.  It's the cutest and funniest damn thing.  Although, a lot of times, we are rushing out of there to pick up her brother from preschool and we only do one or two jumps.  The other day, the side parking lot was nearly empty and we had time to kill - added bonus: there were puddles and her favorite boots ("ki-eee booos"):

I just sat there grinning like a fool and watching her, and listening to her sweet baby voice, just being present with her, in the moment.  We moms get tons of advice to 'be in the moment' and get on the floor and play, don't worry about keeping the house clean, etc.  I am guilty of this, to be sure, (I was totally checking email when B scored a goal in soccer the other day) but it's become easier to get into that happy place with the kids since having a second.  I'm not nearly as worried about milestones, and worrying/waiting for them to grow up.  In fact, I want E to stop growing THIS INSTANT.  I enjoy so much of her baby-ness, and in turn, it's given me the perspective to appreciate the small stuff with her older brother. 
But as I was enjoying being in the moment with her, I thought, how much do I try to be in the moment when it's just me - for ME?  I kind of had a realization that I tend to dwell on the past a lot, in good and bad ways.  My husband and I spent nearly two hours the other night discussing bars in Chicago (of course, there aren't many cities that can hold a candle to Chicago's bar scene) and we had such a fun trip down memory lane.  He kept laughing at how I could remember the name of almost every. single. bar.  (Alumni Club was eluding me for awhile, though - and it's not even named that anymore.)  Anyhow, I have a memory like a steel trap and and for all the good it does me, it does me ill.  I still ruminate on grievances from the past from time to time: crappy layoffs, slights from friends or an old boss, or that time we just got up and left Dublins when we'd waited over an hour and a half for a SALAD and the waitress had the nerve to run out after us and give us crap.  Man, that one still makes me break out into a sweat!  Grrrr.  And I do plenty of worrying about the future, too....   

Whoops, sorry, I was just freaking out there about B's birthday party next month because I just found out half his preschool class will be indisposed that day due to a t-ball game - this is while I'm supposed to be just sitting here, enjoying me time (ie - nap time/quiet time) with my coffee and computer.  Argh!  I suppose that's why running is such great therapy, at least for me.  I never really think about anything/worry about anything while I'm running - even on those long runs.  I'm mostly thinking about nailing my pace, about how I feel: thinking happy thoughts or motivational thoughts if I need them, and singing along to songs in my head.

As E and I were saying bye-bye to the puddles, a car pulled out of a spot and a elderly woman rolled down her window to tell me that watching my sweet girl play in puddles just gave her so much joy and that it made her day.  And then I tried not to cry.  *the end*


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