I’m sitting at our new table in the dining room of our new home. We’ve lived here for five weeks and it’s safe to say that we’re all still in the throes of adjustment. This new home is slightly bigger than our previous one; meaning, there is enough added space for extra breathing room while also providing slightly too much space that the majority of our previous furniture looks dwarfed or awkwardly placed in their new surroundings. The table I’m currently perched over is over ninety inches long, almost thirty inches longer than our old table. There are three gold hairpins spaced evenly down the center of the slab. And because Knox is Knox, he has already branded it as his own by repeatedly and manically driving the tines of his toddler fork into the wood as he protested the rate of which I was preparing his dinner. After assessing the damage, I turned on my heels and promptly walked away so I wouldn’t implode in front of the girls who were nervously and silently watching me, awaiting my next move. I may have been royally pissed but I be damned if I’d let them see me let a two year old unhinge me. I do have my pride. I fight the urge every few minutes to glance over at the tiny dents my precious heathen son decorated our new table with and all I can do is shake my head instead. On the bright side, at least the pressure is now off of me to not fuck it up.
Before Knox took his aggression out on the furniture tonight, he spent the bulk of the day glued to my lap, laying on my chest with his lovey tucked into a ball between us, occasionally letting out a faint whimper or, if I dare tried to move, an emphatic roar to put me back in my place. Minus an hour in the car, that’s exactly how I spent my entire day. It’s now how I’m continuing to spend my day, sittiing at that very same table only it’s on my own terms and I can use the bathroom at will without being yelled at by a snotty tiny tyrant.
Today was the kind of day that makes me stay up later than I should just to enjoy a few hours of solitude where nobody is touching me, nobody needs me or is yelling from the other side of the house that they went poop and would like me to inspect their wiping skills. It’s a very small pocket of alone time to bliss out and get lost in my thoughts without having them interrupted by a precocious rambling toddler so frequently that I give up on thinking altogether.
Lately, I’ve been intentionally taking frequent stock of the more categorically boring aspects of my life: the schlepping from here to there, the wrangling, the dishwashing, the ass-wiping, the snack-bitching, the following of a routine that doesn’t really even belong to me, the cuddling, the reading, the bathing, the calming, the quieting, the listening, the bargaining, the bribing, the explaining, the worrying, the lack of sleeping, the five-minute showering, the crying (mine and theirs), the bickering, the cooking, the planning, the grocery shopping, the fixing, the apologizing… a daily life compiled of purpose that feels at once decidedly underwhelming and exasperatingly overstimulating.
Some days it can all feel so…. insignificant. But that’s the thing: it’s all significant.
What I’m really trying to change is my willingness to lean into the moments that feel underscored by life’ grind. Those moments are the ones that maybe even matter most in the grand scheme of things because it means I was there. I had a list of twenty other things to do and a client that needed selections sent over but I chose to sit under my sick son and be where and who he needed me to be.
I’ve been a mom for over seven and a half years now and it’s only now that I feel like, little by little, I’m finding myself as a mother. Only now do I feel like I know who I am and who each of them needs me to be. I’ve gotten it so wrong for so long and it’s guaranteed I will continue to leave room for improvement. But today, I embraced the insignificant and found significance in it. It felt like progress— like confirmation that I’m never too broken to be beyond repair. I can always change the way I walk through life no matter what role I’m operating under. I can stop taking my one precious life for granted and looking at my responsibilities as burdens and start showing gratitude for the mere privilege of being the person my babies want to be glued to, of being the person who brings them comfort others can’t provide, and being aware enough to see in those moments it feels particularly unyielding, it’s never not worth it.