Today was a day of being and not doing.
It was a slow, quiet, no-plans day populated only my little boy and me. And I savoured it. It may not have ended up that way, had I listened to the voice in my head that said: be someplace, do something.
I find myself mid-morning with a familiar feeling of unexplained urgency. A sense that there is somewhere better to be than just here, just now. An underlying restlessness. What I do differently today is question these thoughts. I take conscious breaths and remind myself that this Saturday morning I can relax. This Saturday morning I have no reasons not to be present, right here, for my little boy.
I push aside mental lists, stop looking at how much the carpets need vacuuming, pile the dishes up in a corner, put my phone down and switch off the computer. I let go of any nagging self-pity about having no plans and no-one else around this weekend, as well as the secret wish to just have the day all to myself.
Instead I take up the invitation from my little boy to be best friends today. After all, how can I resist those little arms around my neck and a whisper in my ear of ”I love you mommy, let’s be best friends.” Surely there is nothing in the world more important to do and nothing more important to be than that?
So we dawdle. We stay in our pyjamas until noon and play pirate games on his imaginary boat. I get out the Play-Doh and together we roll out fat sausages of bright colour to make rainbows. The day feels long and time feels slow. By moving gently and with no particular purpose we seem to create more minutes for ourselves. He is relaxed and content, listening attentively to everything I say. There are no arguments, no tantrums, and no dramas. He can feel that mommy isn’t trying to get him somewhere by some time. He seems relieved that I have dropped my agenda.
We read stories together. I read them over and over again for him as he savours the words and pictures. We take a walk, at his pace, stopping to look at anything we notice, and with no particular destination in mind.
We watch Lady and the Tramp while we eat lunch. Things move slower in an old movie too. There is less noise, less action. The pace of an old movie is like the pace of this Saturday with my son. It’s more human than the everyday cacophony we have become accustomed to.
We nap together, and I feel the easy rhythm of his breathing and his warm little body against mine. His arm wraps around my neck again.
When my husband gets home from work, I find myself with nothing to moan about or offload on him as is my habit of late. I am just happy to see him. It’s good to get a hug and a kiss and have a coffee together. That is enough.
Then there is dinner-time, bath-time, more story-time and bed-time. I’m conscious that although these rituals are our routine every day, I won’t have this day again.
So I’m glad that I was here to soak it in rather than filling it with doing. I’m glad I chose being and making Play-Doh rainbows.
Author: Khara-Jade Warren
Editor: Caroline Beaton
Photo: Courtesy of Author