Waiting

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)

10 Comments on Waiting

  1. Cori Feldman
    July 29, 2014 at 12:06 am (3 years ago)

    Happy Birthday to Miss Maya! Thank you for sharing your thoughts – all very good reminders that I think we overlook as we get older. Still praying for you every day. XOXOXO

    Reply
  2. kathleen copeland
    July 29, 2014 at 8:23 am (3 years ago)

    Aki, these posts are truly a ministry to me. Each one I read reminds me of what is important and helps me to be a better mom. I have Kai’s picture on our fridge next to the stove and think about him and all of you every night while making dinner. I’m sad sometimes but mostly happy to have known him and to have awesome friends like you. Thank you for continuing to share this journey. We love you guys.

    Reply
  3. Mik Ichiba
    July 29, 2014 at 9:56 am (3 years ago)

    Another truly inspiring post Aki! Thank you so much for sharing. Being a parent and trying to figure out how to live in the moment, plan for the future, and teach the little ones how to behave in society is so very difficult. I often think to myself “was I just too hard on my girl?”, “should we let that tantrum go and do a teaching moment another time?”, “was I really that unfair to my oldest and do we need to teach her the reality of fairness in life?”, or “I have a million things to do, but should I just sit here and be…. be with my kid and enjoy them”….. so difficult.

    You guys are in my thoughts and prayers!
    Thanks for helping me be a better Dad.

    Reply
  4. Kristin Hampsten
    July 29, 2014 at 10:45 am (3 years ago)

    Thanks again for your reminder to live life – truly a message from above. Love & God Bless!

    Reply
  5. Marisa Gray
    July 29, 2014 at 1:15 pm (3 years ago)

    Kai needed you during that time, and you needed that time with Kai, so please don’t feel guilty! You have the now with Maya. No regrets! You’re a wonderful mama. Blessings, Aki.

    Reply
  6. Marisa Gray
    July 29, 2014 at 1:16 pm (3 years ago)

    And Happy Birthday to your beautiful daughter! May God bless you and your family! Thank you for sharing your heart.

    Reply
  7. lynn anderson
    July 29, 2014 at 1:23 pm (3 years ago)

    Your words are a good reminder for all of us to live in the now. We all get caught up in life and think toward the future or the past. It is Biblical that we live in the present. God says not to worry about the past because it is already gone and you can’t do anything about the future, but live in the present, enjoying and appreciating anything that comes your way. May your experience, as horrible as it has been, be a reminder to all of us to find the little things in life to cherish. Your pain, heartache, wishfulness, and sorrow are so normal and you have to endure it all. But, with your reminder of living in the now, maybe it will help someone to be grateful for everything that goes on in their life. God knows what is going on in our life now, and in the past and future even though we don’t. So don’t worry about anything, but have your faith in God that He loves us more than we can ever imagine. Cherish your loving memories and find everything you have experienced to be a blessing!

    Reply
  8. Charles Kennedy
    July 29, 2014 at 11:31 pm (3 years ago)

    Living in the “now”, or the moment, is something that is very difficult for many of us to do. It’s so important, yet it has been culturally driven out of us, in my opinion. Thank you for this stirring and heartfelt reminder of its importance. May God bless you and your family.

    Reply
  9. Cathy Olig
    August 2, 2014 at 2:51 pm (3 years ago)

    Oh my – that video is adorable, and it’s so true that kids are definitely living in the moment! I could completely relate to your thoughts of wanting to fast-forward through tough spots of the first year (sleeping through the night, wanting a quicker transition to 1 nap a day, etc) or even getting through tantrums a bit easier. You are so right – we just have to be “present” and show love as often as possible!! We still hold you and your family in our thoughts & prayers! A bright, sunny day especially makes me think of you and Kai!

    Reply
  10. Ron Abbottwood
    August 6, 2014 at 12:08 pm (3 years ago)

    We enjoy your writing Aki, it always come from a place that is genuine. Thank you for the reminder to just “stop” and enjoy the present. Sometimes I get frustrated with Serafina, because she is not working on my time. She is just living life in the present like you said. When we go for walks around the block, she loves to control when we sit down and where we sit down. This can make a short walk lengthy. There is a house that has very pretty rose bushes and we always sit there for a minute or two and she will give a rose a big sniff while I worry about her pricking her digits on the thorns. Serafina has an amazing way of centering me without doing anything. All I need to do is open my eyes and my heart. Thank you so very much for that important reminder.
    Watching Kai howl makes us smile. We enjoy hearing about Maya and I cannot wait to meet her. We love your family very much and are always here for you.

    Reply

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