It’s been a very long time since I last posted and by no means does that mean I’ve been doing no growing, no learning and no note taking from life’s little lessons. Quite the opposite. On the daily I am being challenged on who I am, how I am and what I am. I am figuring out that my actions do affect those around me as I am constantly with a baby who mimics me and who watches my every move. In this mom journey, there is no hiding place. Taylor has really gained a home in my heart. She has quirks and character like I never imagined our baby would. She isn’t just a “sit down and do her own thing” kind of kid. She wants to move, cease every opportunity to grow and learn and she wants to be in on any action around her.
Today, she taught me something really big and moved me in a way I needed to. And it wasn’t through her loud laughter or bold decisions to stand and walk along the book shelf. It was in a moment of stillness and surrender. And I needed that moment more than I knew.
After a busy morning entertaining her with a new motion book, lots and lots of walking and talking and making blurbing sounds I needed a second to regroup and so I took Taylor into our room. Now, she doesn’t sit still. I already knew what was coming. We’d lay down and she would either moan because she doesn’t like to lie down unless on the floor where she can move around. Or we’d lay down and she’d begin to crawl all over me and try reach for the side tables, climb the pillows to stand or blow bubbles on my neck. But I was just needing one second to just lie down so I’d take this risk. I lay down on my back on the bed holding her to lie on me when we landed. And then… nothing. She just looked at me, looked to the side and dropped her head on my cheek. Nothing. Silence. Stillness. Rest. She stared out the window watching the trees blow and the birds fly and I lay there with the first thoughts being to do something. “Maybe she is tired and needs a nap, I should go and lay her in her cot.” “This won’t last long she will probably get bored in a second.” “Maybe I should get my phone and take a photo of this unprecedented, beautiful scene.” But I chose, like Taylor did, to just give into that moment. I chose to just rest. I chose to take in the smell of her – a blend of baby, Lee’s cologne and oats from the morning breakfast. I chose to let her be and enjoy that. But as each minute ticked on, I had to keep choosing to be in that place with her lying on me, resting. Because everything inside of me wanted to take her to her cot so I could carry on with my to-do list.
When a few more minutes passed I felt a tear fall down my cheek on the one side while I felt the flutter of Taylor’s little lashes on the other cheek. And it struck me that her surrender led to my own. For a while now I know that I have felt like things have piled up behind me. I am carrying a massive load on my back and I won’t let it go because I need it to make sure I can keep control and keep things going well. If I loosen it and leave it somewhere, I might need “something” from it in the future and I’d be sad to see it go. But as I lay down, choosing to rest my back on the bed, God took that moment to still Taylor so that I would be still. And it was an opportunity for me. Would I quickly pick myself up because the backpack on my back needed me to be up and busy and doing? Or would I lie down and let it all go? I chose the latter this time. I have so badly wanted to feel that release and there it was, thanks to an 8 month old baby who it seemed, wanted me to also just relax. Maybe she needs me to. Maybe I need me to. It was as though she knew something I didn’t and her quiet weight on me gently forced me to stay and breathe and feel everything get calmer.
There is just over a month left of this year and I am sure we’re all hearing the call to go harder, finish strong and push through. But I feel a call to have moments of rest in between. Don’t wait for your leave to come to have time to yourself. Don’t wait until you’re lying on the beach with a drink in hand to feel relaxed and free. Don’t hold off until the new year to feel refreshed. It can take a few moments for you to refuel. It doesn’t have to mean shut down, it just means stop. Right now, where you are. Stop. Look up, look around, smell the air around you, feel the wind over you and let yourself be for a minute. Or 2. Or 3…