Little one, you’re asleep right now, which seems like a complete miracle of God today. We rode the Carousel of Cyclical Crying all afternoon. We sat in a dark room rocking; we walked laps around the backyard, completing our usual ear-bleeding sing-a-longs. We tried multiple pacifiers. We attempted several pieces of equipment from your personal Fisher-Price playground. We changed diapers. We went from supine, to sitting, to standing. Finally, we swaddled, and in your mummified state, you eventually began to rest. However, I do not believe in the almighty swaddle as fiercely as some; I personally think you just exhausted yourself and drifted asleep atop your horse on our little carousel ride.
At any rate, we have not accomplished much today aside from our carnival escapade.
Similarly, earlier in the week (because I honestly cannot recall if it was Monday or Tuesday), I misplaced your pacifier. I lifted up couch cushions. I looked under the furniture. I completed archaeological explorations of my clothing and pockets. I searched all in your basket of necessities that I have sitting on the coffee table. I chased and harassed Dickson to see if he had taken it hostage as this has happened already. I checked all of the equipment from your aforementioned playground. The pacifier was nowhere to be found. I waved my white flag of motherhood composure, accepting that pregnancy brain does indeed remain and just morphs into mom brain, and moved on with the day. Maybe half an hour later, I went to readjust you or pick you up, and I felt a lump through the back of your clothes.
The pacifier was nestled in your sleeper. Needless to say, you are probably now branded with “Avent Soothie” across your scapula. Needless to say, Mama definitely is now branded with “dummy” across my forehead. Let’s get serious, that’s been there for a long while.
At any rate, I feel as if the pacifier is symbolic of my previously expected productivity and the all-too-consuming, neglected-by-procrastination to-do list. My to-do list and the daily tasks I “need” to complete are the misplaced pacifier. My productivity levels are lying dormant in a monogrammed sleeper. There are unanswered text messages, a grocery-less pantry and refrigerator, wordless cards, yesterday’s laundry in the dryer, items in my trunk awaiting their return to their retail home, unscheduled appointments, and misplaced lists reminding me of all of the above.
However, I am starting to tell myself, that’s ok.
There may be unanswered text messages in my phone, but you and I talked about Jesus, the ABCs, and my plot to kill your crazy furry sibling (who seems to always bark at the most inopportune times) today. There may be wordless cards sitting on my dresser, but I have internally whispered so many prayers of gratitude for the precious gift of you throughout my day. There may be yesterday’s laundry in the dryer, but they are items that allowed me to laugh with your daddy while we were giving you a bath and pajamas that helped lull you to sleep. There may be unscheduled appointments, but I couldn’t imagine a better way to spend my current time than being right here, right now with you.
For, the stores will re-open tomorrow; groceries will continue to be restocked on the shelves. The to-do lists will have another chance to be redone. However, I cannot reopen the gift of today with you. I cannot restock my memory with missed moments and eluded opportunities. I do not receive another chance to redo this time with you.
Therefore, I am letting my productivity stay in its sleeper, and Mama, that’s ok. This is a most precious season that I have found already to be far too fleeting, and I will not look back on my laundry, grocery lists, cell phone, and agenda of appointments and wish I had done more. No, I will reflect on the late-night bottles, the endless singing, the soundtrack of baby noises, the room-permeating diaper changes, the attempts to swaddle and dress a wet noodle in a onesie, the ridiculous homemade photoshoots, the rocking in a nursery glider, the bath times and hooded towels, the snuggles and a sleeping baby on your chest, and all of the other irreplaceable moments that unfold in this season and know that I without a doubt was the best kind of productive simply being your mom.
Simply climbing aboard our daily carousel ride.
Simply letting the pacifier lie.
“You will never have this day with your children again. Tomorrow, they’ll be a little older than they were today. This day is a gift. Just breathe, notice, study their faces and little feet. Pay attention. Relish the charms of the present. Enjoy today; it will be over before you know it.”