Saturday, March 3, 2012
In the Moment
I'm a new mom -- like, 5 months new -- and I'm totally inexperienced. I never babysat. (And when I say never... that's really what I mean. Never. Like not even once.) I have a younger brother, but I was not quite four years old when he was born, so I didn't have any substantial part in taking care of him. I went to babysitter, but she didn't really keep any babies once I was old enough to help. I had changed maybe two diapers ever in my existence before someone handed me my own kid and said, "Good luck!" as they waved me out of the hospital. (Ok, this didn't really happen...)
All this to say, forgive me if my observations are, like, DUH. They are all new to me! I was watching Baby J earlier and it struck me. My kid lives totally, 100% wholeheartedly... IN THE MOMENT. Right now is the only thing he knows. He's just... here. Or there. Or wherever he is. But he certainly isn't anywhere else.
What do I mean? I mean, he doesn't know that there is a future to be worried about. He doesn't know that he could be mulling over the past. He doesn't think about where he'd rather be or what he wishes he was doing. Sure, sometimes he gets uncomfortable or bored and he cries. But that's not because he knows what will happen next. It's because in that moment, he knows he's not ok and if he cries, I'll come fix it. I guess you could say that counts as him thinking about the future, but it seems more to me like he's trying to fix his present, this moment, the right now.
If I cut on a light, he stares at it, mesmerized. If the dog walks by, he's like WHOA! If I crumple up some paper, he stares at it and then at me and then back at the paper. If he sees his toes, he grabs them and does everything he can to get them in his mouth. It's all about the right here, right now for him.
I am not that way. Not even a little! I'm always thinking about what to do next or what I just did. I'm never just... HERE. Then I hang out with my little man, and suddenly, I'm like, "You know what, electricity is pretty amazing! You're right -- dogs do look like living stuffed animals! Why does paper make that sound when you crumple it? Let's do it again. And holy cow, the human body is just a world of wonder! Why hadn't I ever noticed that before?"
Obviously, we all have to be adults and do adult things like pay bills and make life plans so we don't all go spiraling into hunger and cold. But often, I mean, at least once a day, we should take a moment to just look around us and go -- WHOA.