‘It goes like that’ is a phrase I hear a lot at the moment, when anyone sees Baby. Always accompanied by a finger snap and a knowing smile. Or ‘before you know it she’ll be walking!’. Or driving. Or any other activity that seems nearly impossible any time soon for the squiggly squirmy ball of energy that has turned our lives upside down. And I smile like I know what they’re talking about and think ‘really!!??’ Most of those activities that others seem to think may come as quickly as tomorrow to me seem like a lifetime away. Most of them involve walking, and I keep thinking that she would be a much more proficient anything if no one had to change her diaper or put her to sleep or cut her food. Even if she has to wear diapers as part of her profession (like if she goes to space, it’s totally possible) she should have the option not to I think… Basics that I can hardly imagine my baby girl doing. Really? Like ‘that’, huh? I also hear ‘it doesn’t last forever’ a lot. Which seems equally as impossible, this season not lasting forever. I logically can see things move on people growing. And heck we were all babies once right? So they must be right, that right now doesn’t last forever. But it sure feels like I’ve been handed a glorious life sentence, where I am in the midst of diapers and snot and baby toys and not having the mental ability to string a thought together.
I think it’s ironic and frustrating that as parents we spend so much of our life trying and waiting for something to happen or change, and then that thing happens in a moment. The ‘fun’ things, like crawling or rolling, or walking, do seem to happen ‘just like that’. They’re there then gone. All of a sudden a new skill is present. I think singing has prepared me well for motherhood in this way; as a singer one spends years training often for 3 minutes, or even a moment. Sometimes you can anticipate it and sometimes not, but even full performances are there and gone in an evening and you’re left with more of a memory of anticipation of the event than of the event itself.
What I’ve learned from spending a life chasing arguably futile fleeting tasks like auditions or performances or pieces lauded for only a few notes is to enjoy the moment; find the beauty of where I am now. Because of the nature of parenting as well as singing, if we don’t enjoy and stay in the moment then we’ll miss the beauty of and be dissatisfied with the experiences that we live for. I say this like I’ve perfected it, or it’s such an easy task… nope and noper. How do I know we’ll never be satisfied with the fleeting glory moments? Because enjoying the moment is a skill, and like any other skill it takes practice. And if we’ve not exercised our ‘I choose to love where I am right now’ attitude, then it won’t be switched on for those glory moments and they’ll fly by and all we’ll have is a memory of not being as satisfied as we had hoped to feel. I am grateful for the power of choice; we always have a choice. Which is great news because it means that although we may not always be able to choose where we are in life, we can always choose how we react to that. My life might currently be consumed with running around after a baby and revisiting basics like eating and pooping, which is not my first choice of life circumstances. But I can choose to enjoy the whole season that ‘goes like that’, and in doing so be able to fully participate in the glorious moments that are scattered throughout.