The bed feels good. So good. The fan pushing air swirling around my body, which is heavy, eyelids heavy. I am tired, up with a little girl who prefers to sleep in my arms, as physically close to me as possible, until she doesn’t. And when she doesn’t she wants to jump and squirm about, never-mind the time; I’m horrified that she’ll fling herself off the bed and crack open that little ginger head.
I hold her ankle, eyes half open. I guess it’s time to get up. I plop her down on Daddy, who’s up drinking his morning cup of coffee. “Good morning, your turn.” I walk away. Back to bed, covers pulled up high. Sometimes sleep comes, sometimes not. But I lay there nonetheless, lulled by the pitter-patter of little feet.
She gabs on, “no no no” in her little voice or “milt” which is “milk” but we’re still working on those “k’s” I yawn. Knowing full well that I’m missing these moments. You can’t be away from her without missing something. There is always a story or something silly delightful happening.
They told me not to blink, that if I did it would be over. And in truth they’re right. I tried so hard not to but blinked and now my little man is five. In five years we’ve packed so much in and I dearly hope that I’ve absorbed and witnessed as much of it as possible.
With her I wish the same. But this bed is so comfy and my body so tired, so I’ll close my eyes just for a little while, knowing full well that I’ll miss something adorable, something she’s gifted to Daddy.
I am going to miss something. I just am. There’s no way around it. I must absolutely for the sake of my own exsistance blink a time or two.
Am I okay with this? Can I bear the missing out? Will I survive without that silly face? Those raised eyebrows? The pursed lips? The way she says “I love you?” Can I miss even a moment?
In a word: Yes.
Sometimes, I stand back, and in the strangest way look at my life, my children, my husband, the interaction of those around me, and the interaction of myself within those interactions. It’s all very surreal, the bigness of it, and yet the incredible smallness of it. I become a fly on the wall of my own life, and see it for its beauty and pain, light and depth. I see its tenderness, its fleetingness and yet permanence.
This step back allows me to process my very existence. To weigh my life on the scale of my beliefs, my faith, my hopes, my dreams. It allows me to see that smile as a drop of God’s very own love; it allows me to see miracles; it allows me to live. It gives me the ability to breathe, in a place and space that at times can be so burdensome.
Most of all it allows me to miss out. I realize I can’t be there for it all, nor can I completely deplete myself in order to “show up” to all of life’s many many events. And there are so many. And so many that are just wonderful, it pains me to miss out. But I just can’t, we just can’t, do it all.
I am just one. Not super human nor super woman, and so I must choose, over and over again, what to miss out on. Some days it’s the missing of that little voice in exchange for a few more sleeps, and sometimes it’s something larger, bigger, where my presence will be noted and missed, sometimes it comes with consequence.
This, as difficult as it may be, just must be done, for me, and for you my dear friend.
It’s okay it miss out. It’s okay to blink. It’s okay to let out that breath that you’ve been holding for so long.