Peatie is just slightly eager for his seventh birthday. He’s been counting down for months now, taking the time every week or so to re-figure how many days he has yet to wait. When he recently figured out that he had a mere 68 days left to wait, he exclaimed, “It’s getting really close now!” After a moment of reflection, he added, “You know, Mommy, it’s a little like driving toward a stoplight.” I looked at him blankly, having absolutely no idea where he was going with this analogy. Seeing my raised eyebrows, he continued, “You know–when you’re far away from the stoplight you go really fast, but the closer you get the slower you go.” Huh. I’d never thought of it that way, but I think he hit the nail on the head as far as anticipation is concerned.
I, on the other hand, am past my anticipation phase. I agonized all summer long, eager for sign-ups and then starting dates for all our fall activities, restless from too much free time and too much time in the house (which resulted in too much bickering and too much whining and–on my part–too much frustration). And now here I am, only two weeks in, feeling utterly depleted, and already looking forward to Christmas break, the next major stoplight of my life.
Isn’t that the way of life, though? We anticipate the next big thing, we impatiently count down increasingly slow-seeming days until our target…and then it arrives, and somehow it’s rarely as glorious as we anticipated. And what do we do? Assure ourselves that the NEXT big thing will surely bring the ideal for which we’ve been waiting.
So, in the spirit of living in the moment and celebrating what IS–basking at the stoplight, as it were–here are some things I cherished today:
- My newly-painted bathroom, finally devoid of its 18-year-old original wallpaper (installed directly on the drywall) and looking more “me”–stripped, textured, and painted thanks to many hours of labor from my amazing mom.
- My three-year-old’s delight in learning, from gleefully assembling word puzzles to begging for some math work to soberly working to draw letters on his whiteboard–all initiated by him, all satisfying to his little soul.
- Our beloved read-aloud during morning snack time, something we all look forward to and feel compelled to do on every weekday, even if we’re technically taking a vacation day. I love how much the kids love this, and I love hearing the stories brought up in later conversations, discussed, played out. Every day this week I heard, “Can’t we read just a little bit more, Mommy!?” at the end of our snack time.
- Opportunities. Today we had an opportunity for rest and free play, which I now appreciate far more now that we suddenly have scheduled activities on the other six days of the week, but I’m also truly grateful for the Sunday School classes, community group meetings, soccer practices and games, choir practices, guitar lessons, speech therapy, Bible study, and homeschool group activities that enrich our lives.
What are you thankful for at this moment in your “drive”?