Darcy has not figured out the rhythm of heart beats. With her toy stethoscope pressed against Meg she says, “beeeeeeeeeeeeeep”. Less heart beat than flat-line.
Each night we pray over the girls before we ourselves go to bed. Last, watching them sleep, I thought how big they have grown. In between teaching them how to brush teeth, convincing them to wear long sleeves when it is forty outside, between homework, choirs, work… life is moving.
My mom had a cross stitch poem hanging outside our bathroom growing up. I read it often waiting for my sister to get out of the bathroom and it concluded, “there will be years for cleaning and cooking, for children grow up while we’re not looking.”
We all know this truth. It is the most often repeated advice I receive. And yet my head hits the pillow, my energy drained, it is hard to stay focused. Not just about seizing moments with our kids, but seizing any life.
Days are busy and wearing. They will always be rushing by us. So I am not going to challenge you to seize every moment. We must be about mundane tasks (if not the plates would all be dirty, the gas tank empty, the electricity cut off…). But let me challenge you to do one thing each day. Take a moment and drop your schedule. Dance. Smell roses. Savor (not just eat) ice cream. For a moment take the road less traveled. Unlike Frost’s poem, the other roads will still be waiting piled up in sink or unbalanced on the desk. But seize a moment, 20 minutes, to do what you have always wanted. Do what your kids always wanted. It will make all the difference. Soon enough you will need to be back in the flow, rushing to hit the pillow weary eyed.
These little moments will be a pulse to your life. So that when the stethoscope presses against your history it will not hear a long flat-line. Instead it will reveal a heart beating with events and memories.