Gem passed along this little nugget of wisdom recently: be where your feet are. It’s a good phrase for me – short, sweet, to the point, and extremely visual. No floundering around trying to grasp hold of some existential philosophy. When I find myself spinning off into my head I just try to remember: be where your feet are. It works.
BrightSide’s always been better at putting this into practice than me – staying present in the moment instead of getting stuck in his head. So every once in a while, when he notices I’m losing my way, he’ll remind me. He’ll remind me to be where I am.
Sure, sometimes those moments are all angels singing, doves flying, look-at-that-gorgeous-sunset-isn’t-the-world-an-amazing-place. But some are a little more basic. Sometimes they’re more like your run of the mill, parenting hallelujahs. Which are equally glorious.
Bear’s about to turn eleven and T-man’s almost thirteen, so that brings its share of (ahem) challenges. Sass. Mood swings. Often awkward conversations unique to those particular age groups.
But it brings some hallelujah moments, too.
Like the day I realized school mornings had changed forever. For-e-ver. My kids are actually old enough to get themselves ready each day. They set their alarms and accept the consequences if they oversleep. They’re capable of getting dressed so they can walk out the door under their own steam. They make their breakfast, manage to feed themselves without silly sibling bickering (mostly), and pack up lunches and backpacks for the day.
If I get up and shower at 6:30am, great. If I hit snooze and Bear shakes me awake at 7:00am that’s fine, too. Throw on clothes, get T-man to school, and come home to get ready. Bada bing, bada boom – one way or another everyone gets where they need to be, all because my kids are relatively functioning human beings.
Can I get a hallelujah?
But a couple of months ago I had the mother (no pun intended) of all be where you feet are moments. BrightSide and I had agreed to let the kids have friends over. Bear had someone upstairs for a pizza, movie, and sleepover while T-man had a pal in for late night video games. BrightSide and I sat down in the family room once we’d dispersed everyone to their hangouts with food and drinks.
It was probably an hour later when I stopped short. I turned to BrightSide and stared as a revelation washed over me. This is our life. We have two kids at home, two kids over, and no one underfoot. No boys and girls bickering over personal space or TVs or who got in the way in the hall. No bickering at all. Boys were hanging out in the game room; girls were on the second floor doing, well, girl stuff.
And I was sitting on my couch, hanging out with my husband, eating pizza and watching whatever I felt like. I found myself wondering…what is this magical feeling seeping through my soul? A warm hopefulness, like a unicorn had just pranced through the room, sprinkling happy dust in its wake. (They do that, right?) I was fully in that moment, and it was good.
We just might survive these tween/teen years after all. Hallelujah to that.