Making Time

At the end of each day I look around and see very little progress with my naked eye. Dirt and dog hair still peek out at me from corners. The laundry has made laundry babies in each basket that cry to be clean and folded. Dishes come from out of nowhere to overtake the sink once again. All of the work I've done will start over tomorrow as if it never happened. Someone asked me recently what I did that day. I paused and tried to remember. Where is my to-do list with lines through each item? Where is the evidence? A shocking response comes to my mind, "I'm not sure. Nothing?" Did I really get nothing done today?

My new daughter has been obsessed with her hands lately. She finally is able to bring them together and it's her favorite thing to do. We had a mini party just the two of us as we celebrated her newest ability. I don't know if it's normal for three-and-a-half-month-olds to be able to touch their hands together and shove their fists into their mouths, but I'm not worried about normal. I see that my sweet baby is building confidence and I won't take that away with worry. Most of her waking moments are spent making new sounds and using her hands and feet in new ways. I can tell that she loves these new activities because when it's time for sleeping she doesn't wanna go. Just one more touch, one more practice! she seems to say.

A baby's days are so full, but what do they have to show for it? If only we could see the millions of neurons God is gifting them with each day. Building and practicing with new synapses and sparks of firing brain cells. I'd say there's plenty going on in there each of her days. It's quite a production in the microscopic realm. No wonder newborns sleep so much.

What of my little feats that go unnoticed? The way God is teaching me to slow down and grasp each moment before it flies by. When I stop, dust moves slower in the streaming sun rays, sounds grow richer and I can hear distant children playing as well as my own, and I smell baby shampoo in the softest hair. My senses begin to awaken, not just my instincts. Do we turn into mere animals when we are chased by the clock? The predator tick-tocks behind us and we calculate our movements down to only the necessary. Caffeinated and running on purpose, we dare not stop to enjoy something from our child's perspective. Ain't nobody got time for that!

I don't have time. I don't own it. Nobody can hold time like holding their breath. We are in it, it holds us. Does it hold me captive? Or can I drink it in like the amniotic fluid my daughter only recently learned to live without. Now instead of floating in liquid she moves the air with each change in her body, and she moves anew every day. Who can keep up? Time cradles her every milestone until it is granted to her on God's schedule. Can I go with His flow? I can't make time, kill time, or lose time. It holds this place like atmosphere holds the Earth.

When I was a child, life was long. Time outs were eternal and good-byes meant tomorrow was forever away. The agony of being taught to ignore small distractions and being scolded when I didn't pay attention to big adults. The children I've been given want to show me something. Hands touching together for the first time, bugs and dirt and coloring inside the lines. But I want to see sophisticated magnificence, intellectually challenging paradoxes, and God's powerful hand moving in the hearts of men. But, Mommy, guess what? Mommy, can I show you something? Mommy, Mommy, Mommy! OK. I'll bend my knees and practice discovery again. What could I possibly get from the black legs of a ladybug tickling my arm? I've felt it a million... times? But not like this. Not with you. Never have I felt this before. Every moment is new. I'm sorry I thought I'd had this one before. But time never repeats. Thank God that every moment is a new chance to slow time down and to trust Him to take care of the future.


Anonymous said...

Oh, Diana, you have me speechless. How I love your expressions of life realizations. How thoughtful and thought-provoking are your observations and inspirations.

I understand you and share your feelings about motherhood. Days that vanish again and again while environments clutter, seemingly on their own. I remember not sitting much when you and David were little. I would sit and then not hear a sound from one of you and would bounce up and check, bounce up and check. And as you are discovering, or rediscovering wonder through your children, I would experience the same thing with you two and with the perspective that was very individual to each of you. David wild and kinetic and you thoughtful and expressive. When each of you would manifest, as you put it, a milestone, I would feel like standing up and applauding God, saying..."Wow, see what your amazing creation just did??"

Yes, my daughter, live in time with your children, swim in it and have your mind blown in some way daily! The dishes will wait, the dust bunnies will not grow to ravening wolves, and your doggie will remind you to feed her! You are an amazing woman and I still trip on the who that you continue to become.

Love always,


Diana said...

Thanks, Ma. I'm forever indebted to you for your care in preserving my freedom of expression. You're still my best earthly audience! Love you!