Tuesday, 4 June 2013

The Gift of an Ordinary Day

A few weeks ago, just after Mother's Day, someone I know shared on Facebook a link to a video that had recently gone viral on youtube. I watched it for the first time, lying in bed, about 10pm. I cried the whole way through it. From the other side of the bed, Hubby intently catching up on his latest arsenal/manly/hawthorn/reds/roar/philidephiaeagles/mets news made the comment 'that sounds really depressing'. But the opposite, for me at least, was true.

This video and the message it shared, resonated very deeply with me, and I have thought about it often.

The Gift of an Ordinary Day.

Katrina Kenison is the woman in the video, who has written a book entitled just that "The Gift of an Ordinary Day", and on her website, is the quote "It has taken awhile, but I certainly do know it now - the most wonderful gift I had, the gift I finally learned to cherish above all else, was the gift of all those perfectly ordinary days."

I worry sometimes, that I will have become so bogged down in the day to day life of raising to children, working, running a household, that one day I will wake up, and realise that my children have all grown up and I missed their childhood. Not because I wasn't paying attention - but because it is flying by much much too fast for my liking.

Already, as The Eldest has just turned 4, and The Youngest is about to turn 2, I am packing up all the baby stuff. Selling it, passing it on. The baby stage is now behind us and I feel melancholy - I loved having newborn babies, the smell, the feel the cuddles. I loved watching them change from that little beloved creature that only needed to eat and sleep, into a creature that was aware of it's surroundings, responded to the people around them, starting to laugh, smile, move. And now that stage is gone for us, a door that has closed, just as many many doors are just opening for my children. In many ways we are thankful for that - thankful for not breastfeeding anymore. Thankful for the children who are sleeping through, more often than not. Thankful for words they can use to explain their tears instead of the exasperated moments of 'I haven't a clue why they are crying! They've been fed / burped/ slept/ played with / cuddled / bathed and still they cry!'

Did I appreciate the baby stage enough? Was I as aware of it as I could have been? Did I appreciate the ordinariness of those days?  Looking back on the catalog of photos and how I took thousands of photos of The Eldest and then almost as many of The Youngest, I am confident I did. My babies captivated me, delighted me. I treasured every milestone but did I appreciate the uneventful days as much as I could have?

Now I have a toddler ruling my house in conjunction with a 4 year old. This is the life I have right now. My life - where there are days that do feel like they are going to last forever - and not necessarily for good reasons. Days where I wonder if 10am is too early for a glass of red, and (reluctantly) knowing it is, indulge in my coffee addiction instead. I know this life I have right now, will not last forever. In 12 months time, the 2 year old toddler stage will be behind us, and big school will be before us and more doors will have closed and even more will be opening.

Today was a perfectly ordinary day. We got up, said good bye to Daddy and ate our breakfast while watching Bananas in Pyjamas and Sesame Street. The Youngest and I got dressed and then I had to negotiate/coax/bribe The Eldest into her swimmers for a make-up lesson with her teacher from last year. Bribery required me to take them to have a coffee at the place with the red wiggles car in the local shopping centre. My coffee was full strength, their babycinos were not, and by the time we left many coffee shop patrons had witnessed full-scale war between my children and my calm and rational approach to solving the problems (negotiation/coaxing/bribery). More negotiation/coaxing needed to purchase The Eldest her much needed new boots as she was sulking about me not buying her a smoothie. Purchases complete and we headed back home to put a The Very Grumpy Youngest to bed for her day nap. The Eldest and I then headed outside for an hour of 'fun' washing the dog kennel together and doing some gardening. Somewhere along the way The Youngest woke up and the girls spent the rest of the afternoon playing babies, making coffee, swinging, sliding, jumping and quarrelling.

Will I remember that my two children loved playing in the big red wiggles car while I drank my coffee, not minding that Mumma lied about not having money to throw into making the car move? Or that The Eldest had the time of her life helping me wash the dog kennel ready to sell? That The Eldest was caught wheeling The Youngest around the house in a doll's pram, cackling like maniacs when I caught them in the hallway? Or the way Hubby and the girls hid in their cubby tent while I "searched" the house looking for them because dinner was ready? Probably not. But today I remember, and today I am not taking it for granted.

And so, I am going to try to remember each day from here on in, that the most wonderful gift that I have, is the perfectly ordinary days that I get to spend with my husband and my children. 
Jen x

Because in the end, that's what it's all about. 

Katrina Kenison's homepage

The Gift of an Ordinary Day youtube video

No comments:

Post a Comment