Anyone who knows me knows that I go at one speed- nonstop. I get that most moms rarely sit down, but my mind wouldn’t let my body relax even if it wanted to.
There’s just so much to do, and so much to think about in the moments between. There’s the carpooling, the shopping, the cleaning, the working out, the cleaning, the volunteering, the bill paying, the lunch dates, the gift wrapping, the cleaning, the chasing the kids, and of course the dreaded cleaning. All the while I am trying to figure out if I will ever have time for the fun stuff- the playing with the kids, the hubby time, and the writing.
Even when I am in bed, my thoughts are consuming me- hence the frequent insomnia. I’ve provided you with a typical internal dialogue to prove my point:
Important note: It is 3 a.m.
Man I’m hot, I know better not to wear socks to bed. Maybe I should pull them off. What if the kids are as warm as I am? Do I go in their rooms and risk waking them up to pull their socks off as well? I wonder if the kids are really asleep or staring at their ceilings. I can’t stand that my kids’ socks have holes in them. Off to Walmart tomorrow. Do the high cut socks Jackson wears now make him look like a dork? Maybe I’d better look at a few styles while I am there. I should probably wear socks to Pilates tomorrow seeing as my chipped OPI suede nail polish will NOT come off. Note to self- tell friends tomorrow over Facebook to NOT apply OPI suede unless they plan on NEVER removing it or own a sandblaster. Hey maybe I should have a sockhop themed 41st birthday party! Let’s see first we need, well, socks……
I don’t really mind that my obsessive thoughts rule me- I normally get more done by 10:00 a.m. than the average Jane. Creatively, I’m hard to beat. Give me one inspirational word and in about 45 seconds and I will plan your baby shower from start to finish (my best work started with orange) or create a charity (and its logo, website, and promotional materials) …as I did after casually placing the terms puzzle and peace together. I analyze everything from television commercials, to food packaging, to my own writing…then wonder to whom I can write to offer suggestions. Sounds exhausting, because it is.
Which leads me to think- with all this moving, shaking, and thinking, it makes it kind of hard to live in the moment, now doesn’t it?
Well I found my cure.
Two weeks ago my girlfriends invited me on a day trip to the Magic Kingdom smack dab in the middle of the week. We had an absolute blast- oh yeah and the kiddos did too. I learned tons from hanging out with moms of typical children, and they learned how spoiled they were getting to join me in the front off all of the lines with my guest assistance pass. I wouldn’t trade that day for anything, but I have to admit it was the straw that broke the mommy’s back.
When my head hit the pillow that night I realized that I had been awake for almost 24 hours. Needless to say, the next day I moved a bit slower- and for some strange reason I’ve kept that pace ever since.
What I’ve learned over these couple of weeks is that I am not getting that much less done by toning down my lightning speed. The worst things that have happened? I’ve had to hit the grocery store a few times without my precious list, I’ve been forgetting to shave my legs, and I’ve watched the kids’ hand marks build up super-thick on my glass surfaces. Tragic, right?
My reward in slowing down to a speed visible to the naked eye? I’ve observed what I have been missing- and with that I have discovered an even deeper love for those I work so hard for.
Last week I stopped to spy J.R. writing out his Valentine cards. YES, writing out his Valentine cards, and carefully crossing off each name as he went down the list. I don’t even have words for emotions this moment evoked. My child, who barely formed sentences before the age of five, is addressing Valentine’s Day cards. Deep breath.
Later that day I allowed myself a little House Hunters on DVR and J.R. laid next to me, resting his head on my chest. I wrapped him up in my robe and took in the smell of his hair for what seemed like forever. I could have died right there, bursting with love.
I also took the time to plop onto his beanbag chair (surprisingly comfy!) and listen to him sing Brad Paisley’s Find Yourself. I know he thinks of the words as just more dialogue of the movie Cars to memorize and script, but it’s hard not to be affected when you hear you baby sing: (in a country accent)
When you goooooooo through life
So sure of where you’re headin’
And you winnnnnnnnnd up lost
And it’s the best thing that could have happened
‘Cause sometimes when you lose your way
It’s really just as well
Because you find yourself
Yeah, that’s when you find yourself.
On a low note, pardon the pun, I also sat long enough to notice my typical child Jack become quickly frustrated with his ABC’s. I had no idea he was having a hard time with them. A conversation with his teacher confirmed my suspicions. We’ve now incorporated the alphabet song into our day, and reviewing letters is already a bit less painful. Next we’ll be tackling his obsession with the number 6.
Finally, my husband and I caught a movie. It was a last minute decision, and the comedy flick was not my first choice. I swear I hadn’t laughed that hard in months and months. It was a wonderful release cutting loose with my man, with whom the main topic of conversation normally involves our kids and how they manage to constantly piss us off. There are never thoughts of autism, or what it does to a marriage, mid belly laugh.
I can pretty much predict that the amount of Valentine’s Day candy I plan to ingest tomorrow will kick start my hyperactive tendencies. That’s okay though. Losing my way (and the fight to keep my laundry under control) felt amazing. I am sure I will now work (and think) hard to get lost a lot more often.
Happy Valentines Day to:
I now know that you are a better speller than me. Yeah me, the Flamingo Elementary Spelling Bee Champ of 1979. And who knew you were so into reptiles these days? I love you so much that it hurts.
Let’s focus less on making farting noises more on hitting the books. You are the most fascinating child I have ever met. Where DID you come from?
You are the greatest man I have ever known. Awesomest dad ever. I do not deserve you. Let’s go to the movies again soon and make out.