If there’s something I’m kind of rubbish at, it’s managing to not burn the bottom of the first round of pancakes I plop into the frypan.. Well that and taking time to notice the small stuff. I’m not sure which is more of an issue but I suspect it’s probably the second one. Yes, I may ruin a couple of delicious buckwheat and cinnamon creations BUT that shouldn’t impact my life too horribly. Not taking the time to notice the small stuff? That’ll come back and smack you in the face when you least realise it.
I’m someone who gets caught up in my own head quite regularly. It’s a noisy old place, the inside of my skull and there’s usually a whole bunch of stuff on the boil. Blog ideas, emails I know I need to return, an ever growing and changing shopping list (seriously, that thing is an untameable BEAST), a pile of ‘To Do’s’, plus the requisite space reserved for daydreams and general musings about life, and, more often than not, food.Accompanying that busy head is my sometime insatiable need to always be ‘doing’ something, usually doing ‘somethings’. I’m the person who can often be found on the couch with both iPhone and iPad switched on and a magazine just off to the side, should my connection crash and I’m left with 30 seconds of empty space. I read emails or scan the paper while waiting for my coffee. Check Facebook when I’m standing in line at the local IGA. I’m utterly hopeless at doing one thing a time, and really allowing it to absorb my focus. It’s something that I’ve only become properly aware of since becoming a mother and more importantly, realising how my intense desire to ‘do’ impacts my ability to be a present mother.
It occurred to me the other night that lack of presence is directly linked to missing the small stuff. It was while we were putting my son to bed. All jammied up, he decided he wanted to sit and read with his daddy, instead of his mummy. Instead of hopping up, heading downstairs and starting the post dinner clean up (or *cough* grabbing a mini Lindt bunny and collapsing on the couch in front of MKR), I stayed sitting on the floor, watching the two of them read together. Watching my son it hit me like a ton of bricks just how much he’d changed. When did the chubbiness of his cheeks suddenly shift into older, more defined cheekbones? How long has he been making that facial expression while thinking? Has he always followed along with his finger when reading ‘When The World Is Ready For Bed?’ I really, truly watched him and I don’t know what stunned me more, the realisation of his newly minted status as a ‘proper little boy’ or the fact that I almost hadn’t noticed the subtle shifts in the way my own son looked and acted. I’d missed some of the small stuff.
Coming downstairs after safely snuggling his little body into bed, I pointed out to my husband just how much our boy was growing up and how quickly it was happening. “I know,’ he said. ‘It’s like you don’t even realise till it hits you.” It seems it’s not only the insatiable ‘do-er’ who misses the small stuff but quite possibly every parent, at some stage. While I was making a conscious effort before, I’ve certainly been given a bit of a kick forward towards noticing the small stuff. Remembering it. Recording some of it in my ‘Gratitude Journal’ of an evening or just chatting about it with my husband when we’re sitting down to dinner at night.
I know that I’ll never be the type to be able to sit quietly for an extended period and just observe the world around me (my parents seem to be able to do this and I find it seriously amazing). I think I’ll always have a mind that’s on the busier side of average. Being able to be present for my son (and soon to be daughter) and noticing the small stuff before it slips away, possibly for good, is the best reason I can think of though for consciously working on calming it slightly, if not fully, and making a real effort to observe and enjoy the small stuff.
In the spirit of sharing, here’s the small stuff I’ve been watching and noticing lately…
- How he’s suddenly learnt to jump! With both feet off the ground!
- How his hair has gone from white blonde to dark blonde and back again, thanks to the recent sunny weather we’ve had
- How he cuddles his teddies and strokes their backs while he’s doing it
- The way he washes his cars and trucks in the bath at night, always using the same washcloth and wanting to use the same body wash (so that he can get them really clean)
- How his eyes still flutter like they did when he was a freshly baked newborn, just before falling asleep
I’d love to hear about the small stuff you’ve noticed in your life (with or without kids) lately. Feel free to SHARE in the comments or #smallstuff on Instagram/Twitter/Facebook.
Linking up with Jess over at ‘Essentially Jess’ for IBOT