mom_daughter

Not all changes need to happen now.

In motherhood and in life that simple phrase has become my saving grace.

Not all changes need to happen now.

Before my daughter slept at night, I'd list the things that she was working on. Like beads on a rosary, like counting stitches in a row, like sifting through the sand on the beach during the summer and picking out the tiny little ocean-tumbled smooth pebbles in all of their different colors. I'd remember how much she was growing and how much she had left to grow. We'd lay there together in the sleepy dark. Her nursing and me trying to doze. I'd pluck out little memories from all the points along her life. Now she sleeps, toddler-huge and tousle-headed, impossibly different from the tiny pink infant that I used to nurse at all hours of the night. Not all changes needed to happen right then. Not all changes need to happen now.

Before my middle child learned to walk I could seldom put him down. Four and a half now and rapidly closing in on five. He is fine with being away from me so long as he knows how to get me back. He leaves the room quietly when he's had enough of the chaos of his siblings and retreats to his room to lose himself in building endless things from blocks. Not all changes needed to happen right then. Not all changes need to happen now.

Before my oldest learned to read he learned the alphabet. The sounds that each letter made. He learned that words had order and that they had meaning. Some of his friends learned to read far sooner than he did, and others far later. I wondered about where he fell in the pack. If he was learning too soon or learning too late. At eight he snuggles down in his bed with a stack of magazines and books, and will read for hours impervious to any attempt at interruption. Not all changes needed to happen right then. Not all changes need to happen now.

And me? I have this long list of things that I want to learn, to do, to be, to try, to become. Things I want to know, to create, to make, to build. But where was I just a year ago, just two years ago, just five years into my past? How far have I come? How much have I learned, grown, and become? Not all changes need to happen now.

The internet is both my inspiration and my nemesis. It gives me endless opportunities to compare myself and my children to lives so different from the one that I live that the number of changes between here and there are dizzying.

The endless bickering that can happen among other parents from other parts of the country and other parts of the world. "If it was important to you..." Oh, but not all changes need to happen now.

That is what living is for. The gift that comes with each day. Time. Time to learn. Time to do. Time to practice. Time to perfect. Time to experience.

I try and choose the little changes that fit easily into my life as it is today. Stepping stones towards the things that I dream about for tomorrow.

Not all changes need to happen now. If they did then a lifetime would flash by in moment.