This week will mark our little baby girl Maya’s first birthday. Holy moly – I know they say time flies, but I just truly can’t believe it. Maya has recently become almost obsessed with watching videos of her brother on my phone. And in the morning if Maya sees a phone she points and says “Tai Tai” and so I let her watch some.
I love seeing him but it also makes me realize how much I took for granted and that pains me so much. Seeing his videos for the umpteenth time, I notice all of the little things – those movements, expressions, nuances of his voice that I know in my heart, but now notice with my eyes and I wish so much that I had just focused so much more deeply in those moments. I find myself watching Maya – the way she is discovering new things, trying out the different octaves (screeching) of her voice, her laugh and funny gestures. I want to be more present. I want her to know she is loved every moment. I don’t want to wait do those things. Don’t wait to give her that hug or tell her I love her even though she has no idea what that means. Don’t hurry her up because I “need” to run an errand.
I hate this but I admit that there definitely was a part of my life where I often lived in the future….Focusing only on what was to come, making plans, or thinking about what could be and not being in the present. I also admit that I did this a great deal when I became a mom – the immediate upside down flip your life takes hit me right upside the head and I grieved the loss of certain freedoms. Yes, in becoming a mom I also got to see how stinkin’ selfish I am. I was also scared because I didn’t/dont know how to do this whole thing — make him stop crying or help him learn how to sleep, I kept thinking ok, when he’s so many months old it’ll be better, or I wish I could fast forward through this part. Oh, I hate, hate, hate remembering that I had those thoughts. I would give anything for those moments again.
With Maya turning one, I feel so bad because I feel like there is this chunk of time when Kai started getting sick and then of course the time in the hospital where my focus was Kai, and I feel like I missed part of Maya’s first year, I wasn’t fully present in the moment. I don’t remember some things.
A million different thingsare going in our lives, we get “busier” every second. Sometimes I feel like I’m living life in fast forward. But, it’s hitting me hard this week – STOP. The message, “don’t wait”. Don’t wait to live your life. Stop spinning and live it now. We all wait for the “right time” to do something, or waiting to feel less anxious or less busy or whatever the reason, but don’t. Don’t wait to live. Don’t wait to go after your dream or tell someone you love them, or reach out or give a hug.
I think maybe we wait because we’re scared or we feel something is more important. This is what I think causes me to wait at least. But I want to be better. And we’re scared of being hurt, we’re scared of it being too hard, we’re scared of the unknown. But, life is full of bumps and challenges we can never anticipate, prevent or prepare for and when they hit you have no choice but to deal with it. And we can.
I never in a million years thought any of this would happen. And of course I wish so so so much that this didn’t happen. But, every second of this pain means my heart grieves the loss of a love that is still alive — I get to love Kai, and I got to experience his life. What’s that saying — it’s better to have loved and lost than have never loved at all – and as much as this hurts so bad, the love I feel for Kai is so much greater than that pain and there is no doubt whatsoever that it’s worth it.
So, please don’t wait to be in the moment. Don’t wait to live life. I realize I’ve learned this lesson in some ways a little too late. This a beautiful life amidst the broken-ness, and I don’t want you or I to miss one more thing.
And I do love how kids do really live in the moment, fully being themselves and not waiting to live. And if you feel like howling like a coyote in the backseat like our buddy Kai, you go right ahead.*
*(for those concerned howI obtained this video – yes I was driving, but it’s not what you think. I heard him doing this so I picked up my phone at a stoplight and then just pointed it backwards haphazardly hoping to at least capture the audio and somehow luckily got the video too)