Taking a break from a full family calendar to enjoy the small moments

I expected life to get a little crazy when we added our fourth child. I expected to sleep less. I expected the house to be a lot noisier, a little messier. I did not expect it to be so busy. It appears, more so than having a newborn, having too school age children in the spring is crazy.

Between the birthdays and end of school activities our May calendar is more full than our December calendar!

Our family doesn’t do well when we live on a diet of busyness. Everyone gets snappy, and cranky and nothing seems to go smoothly. Our morning routine has particularly suffered from the busyness, a direct result of late out of routine evenings. Whenever our mornings are not going well, when I’m barking orders at the big kids and running from here to there and there to here to gather stuff, those are the morning the little ones break down. Toddler tantrums, baby being fussy, they seem to feed off the negative energy and get in on it too.

Monday was one such morning. It was a long and busy weekend and our morning was running behind when of course the baby had a blowout diaper. I asked the toddler to please, PLEASE let her brother help her get her shoes on while I took the baby to get changed. Being a typical toddler this was absolutely, positively not acceptable to her. She followed me into the bedroom crying and whining and speaking her toddlerease in a full dissertation of what she wanted.

My one word for 2013 is breathe. So as I changed the baby and the toddler whined at me I tried very hard to focus on just taking some deep breaths and ignoring her, when suddenly she stopped. I looked down to make sure she was okay and there I saw her, full of wonder and curiosity staring at the curtain in our room.

The sun was shining very brightly, something we haven’t seen in awhile, and the blinds underneath were pulled up to let the air from the open window in. She could see the shadow of pull cords clearly through the heavy curtain. I stood and watched as she tried to grab them from the front, stepped back and investigated more. I quietly watched as she peeked around one side of the curtain, than the other. As she tried to keep looking at the front while pulling the curtain aside to figure it out. She squealed with glee as she went and hide behind the curtain realized the cords, like her, were there “hiding”.

It only took a minute. A minute I would have spent fighting with her to get shoes on. Instead of fighting I stepped back and took in that small moment and breathed. I breathed it in and reminded myself that this life is made up of all these small moments. Small moments of curiosity and wonder and I have the power to savor them or to ignore them. There will always be busy, but there won’t always be the wonder of a two year old at the sun streaming in.

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