I am the type of person who likes to finish what I’ve started. I greatly value following through on things, and will often do so with dogged determination. It is an aspect of myself that I generally value, but it does have its limitations. I tend to live more in the future than the present, and I spend a lot of time thinking of what I “should” be doing, rather than asking myself what I truly want to be doing.
Kids change that, though. The past few weeks, I have been spending time with my two year old nephew and my newborn niece. Kids live in the moment. They don’t understand the concept of time -not in the way that we do. My nephew isn’t thinking about completion when going from playing with building blocks to toy guitars to sidewalk chalk. My niece eats when she needs to eat and sleeps when she needs to sleep. And poops when she needs to poop.
To an extent, I am along for the ride. While this has given me whiplash to an extent (and has given me a small window into what it is like to be a parent) I have found that these two little ones have taught me a lot about just letting the moment happen, however chaotic, intense, painful, or beautiful that moment is. They are also not afraid to express their feelings as they feel them, and they never forget to prioritize their body’s needs. I don’t want to romanticize the experience, especially as I am not a parent myself and I know that there is a difference between coming in to help for a few weeks and being a fulltime caretaker. However, if I walk away from this experience with any added wisdom, it would be that there is true beauty in letting some moments be themselves, devoid of past, future, “shoulds” and obligations. Today, I am taking time to be.