Wednesday, May 09, 2012

where can we live but days?

"What are days for?
Days are where we live.
They come, they wake us
Time and time over.
They are to be happy in:
Where can we live but days?
Ah, solving that question
Brings the priest and the doctor
In their long coats
Running over the fields."

I wake up each morning, usually late, with just a couple of goals in mind for that day: be firm but patient (I have a harder time with the latter); have fun with them.

I used to have many, many goals: Will must eat X number of calories; we must be to school by 8:50; I must exercise; X number of reading lessons for X number of minutes; well-groomed self and children . . . the list goes on and on and only gets more revealing and probably boring.

I am not saying that goals are bad things. It is important to be goal-oriented, I think, and I am, I think. It is also important that our goals be about things we can control (how can I control Will's caloric intake? Sort of a frustration-inducing goal, since I am not ultimately in control of that.) I guess I am only saying that I am finding that I accomplished fewer of the most important goals in service to the lesser ones (Good, Better, Best, anyone? That is suddenly coming to mind). We did get to school early more often than we do now, but I was almost never patient in the morning on those days. Sure, I still try to be punctual for school, and we usually are, but I am no longer going to make punctuality more important than keeping my spirit calm and happy (and those of my little guys, too!). Now when we are late, well, that's life and getting mad at myself or the boys isn't productive; (getting up earlier and having lunch already made is.) More broadly, when I seek to be happy with them, I find that I do more of the things that matter most, even down to prayer and scripture stuff. I am getting lost in the weeds of my thoughts here because I keep wanting to clarify and explain and hedge. So I will just stop. Take it or leave it, right?

Today was Wednesday, so I went to the library on autopilot for storytime followed by fun in the park. Since it is May, the Concert in the Park series is in full swing. Usually we are not in the park anymore by the time it starts up, since meals are so much easier at home, but we lingered for what was to be one song when we saw friends, and ended up staying for the whole thing. We got home after 1 and barely had time to get through a lunch session before having to load back up to pick up Andrew. No naps, no downtime of any sort, delayed lunch.

Porter, tapping his foot to the music.

But today it was worth it. I just couldn't bring myself to pull Will out of that park. He was so happy, dancing and jumping and playing with friends and meeting new ones. It was just kid rock, with even a little children's rap thrown in, but it may as well have been Mozart or something for the way it seemed to lift all of our spirits. It reminded me of how to be a good mom, what a happy day is supposed to be like, little things to do and make part of these years. Will was just so happy. When I put him to bed tonight, it was so nice to know that his day was filled with that kind of joy.

Not all our days will be filled with sunlight and music and dancing outside with friends, but when they can be, I'll grab them up.


Jenny said...

So very well said. I can relate completely. You inspire me to be a better mom and to remember which goals are most important.

Ashley said...

Okay, this was a beautiful post, but I came over to comment on the hilarious/fabulous/jumping/peeing on the trampoline one! I loved every second of it. We have so much in common except you think so much more about everything, and seem to beat yourself up over things I never even think to think of, I think that makes you a better person! Also I have no ambition and I hope I never have to practice law again. I'm just too tired and focused on stupid things, so I commend you. Maybe octopuses ARE smarter than me. But not you. I also really liked what you said in this other post about only having goals that you can control. That is very Dr. Phil and very wise. And I also have a scratched up bumper (from visiting teaching) but it's only been that way for 18 months because I'm lazy, no Hester Prim here. Finally, the homework is too cute for words--and the pic of the three boys is so wonderful. OUT!

Ashley said...

Also we have the same dishtowels, and I really like that you are mayhem behind the wheel. That is a likeable quality.