On the drug of efficiency, I forgot to be joyful

Efficiency and productivity keep emerging in my mind, flashing red as if to warn me. 

Efficiency is how I have setup every aspect of my life. I have tried to get more done in less time and with fewer resources. What has that given me? A reputation for organization, a tidy home, schedule, routine. These are good things and have by-products that help my family. A solid schedule and routine have been instrumental in raising children. They are in a stable environment always knowing what comes next. This has been especially good for my son with ADHD.

What is missing from this systematic approach to life? Being present, enjoyment, happiness. Letting the moments wash over me, allowing my senses to indulge the smells, sights, sounds, feelings of whatever the moment brings, both good and bad.

In a relationship long ago nothing was happy. It was a series of sad events. Schedule, routine, duty is what kept me prodding forward each day. That and the beauty of the moments with my children.

Their beautiful cherub faces, milky white, delicate, nearly glowing with innocence. My heart floods with warmth at the memory from so long ago. I would often sit and stare at them with their eyes bright and full of love. What were they before they grew within me, stardust? What wonders they must have seen.

Dreaming often of the fortunate series of events leading up to the time we were brought together as mother and child, astonished by the miracle of life. Life growing within another human, how can all of the millions of steps go right to produce a perfect tiny person? Seriously, how is that possible? Mother Nature is lightyears ahead of manmade technology.

When life was hard the little moments were my hope. Tiny fingers wrapping around my own, toddler belly laughs, eyes full of wonder, full body hugs. It has always been the little things in life, always.

Do I miss them as babies? I miss moments, but I love who they are now. I am not sure that any one stage of parenting has been my favorite. They have all been equally challenging and rewarding. It’s still the little moments that hold the most meaning.

While preparing dinner one night, I asked Xander to come help me with something. He thought I wanted a hug, probably because I had been asking for hugs all night. He came over and wrapped himself around me. I dropped what I was doing and held his warm body next to mine. Simultaneously I felt the softness of his pajamas, the warmth of his body, the contentedness in my own heart, the tickle of his messy hair against my face and breathed in his soft scent. That is a perfect moment, overwhelmingly emotional.

Another day Dominic had been weighing heavily on my mind. Thoughts of how big he is getting, what a wonderful young man he is turning into. He is kind, genuinely kind. He is loving, patient, thoughtful, ridiculously smart, outgoing, and magnetically friendly. He will never be alone. I thought how I needed to tell him I loved him, really loved him, from the pit of my stomach, the depths of my soul, from the bottoms of my toes and as far as my arms could ever reach, love him. I was overwhelmed with the feeling that he needed to hear those words or maybe it was me that needed to say them. Either way, I went home and sat on the couch asking him to sit down next to me. I opened up my arms and let him fall into me. I scooped him up and held him, a perfect creation, a beautiful soul, my son. My children overwhelm me with pure love and amazement.

My sons, my babies, my young men, flood me with love. I am so grateful to be their mother, so indebted for the chance to experience motherhood. They are the greatest gift I could ever receive. They remind me to stop, enjoy, be present, to dance around in the moment, and to allow the emotions to wash over.


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