Yep. This is what I thought to myself…ohhhh pretty much all day on Tuesday. I was practicing mindfulness alright! I was fully aware that I was thinking this. AND I was aware of how messed up it was that I wanted to blog about mindful parenting and there I was feeling annoyed by having to be a parent!
I was in a mooo-hooo-hoooo-d! I was having a temper tantrum inside my head:
“I wanna do what I wanna do for a change!”
Not a shining moment as a mom, I know.
No, I didn’t actually SAY “don’t bug me” to A. and C., thank goodness. And the thing was I wasn’t actually annoyed with A. or C. — they were just doing their normal stuff — A. in his “construction boots” was building skyscrapers out of couch pillows wanting me to help him ”fix” the roof of the building. And there was C., our 5 months old, just wanting me to hold her and her Sofie the Giraffe so she could maul it with slobber and her toothless gums.
I was “annoyed” at something else. It wasn’t just because I needed to have more “mama-time” or time to actually FOCUS on one thing for more than three minutes. It wasn’t because I had to put the pacifier back in C.’s mouth a bagillion times because she has a cold and can’t suck and breathe at the same time or play “construction worker” mama with A. for the one hundredth time. But I didn’t know exactly why I was annoyed. I just was.
But then poop happened.
That yellow, runny, infant-kind of poop — exploding all over C. and her crib.
I was cleaning her up (and the changing table, and her back, and belly — oh yes, it was THAT kind of poop), I thought, “Ok, here I am. This is where I am at today. Cleaning up poop. Playing with my kiddos. Wanting to be somewhere else and wanting to be just exactly where I am. Lis, it can all be here…at the same time.”
In that moment I realized that my annoyance was really about resisting these opposites. How could I want to be exactly where I am and want to be somewhere else?
Then came the uncomfortable realization that had been stirring within me for some time, yet, only today came into my consciousness:
Something is shifting in my life — in my psyche, my soul, the season of our family. Something new is ready to emerge. Something is calling me — us — forth but I can’t see it or name it quite yet.
What I really didn’t want to “bug” me is the fact that something old is dying, something new is birthing. Something needs to be let go of; something needs to be embraced. AND. I. DON’T. KNOW. WHAT. THAT. IS… yet.
As it often happens in life, a friend pops in exactly at the right time with the right message. My dear friend “happened” to email me this passage from Traveling with Pomegranates, by Sue Monk Kidd and Ann Kidd Taylor:
“I recline against the sofa pillows near the hearth and think of all the passages I’ve logged I my journal about hearth and Hestia – a Goddess who doesn’t represent domesticity to me as much as the ability to dwell, to belong to one’s place.
Journeying is the predominant means of developing one’s self in this culture, not the habitation of place. It has been true of me. Always the seeker. Yet at the edge of this marsh (where she built her new home), I want to learn how to be in it. I want to behave like a finder as much as a seeker. The irony is that I had to go on an elaborate journey to figure this out. So much of my growing older seems to be about paradoxes. The reconciliation of opposites. The bringing to balance.” (p.121)
I didn’t resolve anything on Tuesday. Nor Wednesday. Nor today. But, a peace is growing within me about “reconciling these opposites” — letting go of what is dying and embracing what is birthing. Being exactly where I am right now and listening to the small, still voice within me that is calling me forth into the unknown and “not yet.”