Today is the day after. The first day after my little girl, Ellie-belly-bo-jelly, has taken her first steps. Ba ba baaaaa. Confetti and rousing band renditions of ‘Pomp and Circumstance’ erupt! Huzzzaahh! I. Am. RIDICULOUSLY PROUD. The feelings that washed over me were almost overwhelming. Joy, awe, disbelief. Joy. (My baby is walking!) Awe. (Is she walking!? She’s walking! SHE’S WALKING ON HER OWN HOW DID THAT HAPPEN!?). Disbelief and confusion. (My baby can walk!? SHE CAN WALK?!) I freeze just before the tears of happiness can fall as flashes of an imaginary future Ellie at her first day of school, her first day of high school, her 16th birthday, getting her drivers license, graduating, LEAVING ME TO GO TO COLLEGE skim by my forebrain. Well plus we’re with a group of people and good southern Texas/northern Canadian girls don’t cry in front of people. Ever. I was very stoic. I giggled like a little girl as she walked into my arms. I hugged her so tight. I told her how smart she was and we all clapped with her. (She was clapping, she knew she did something pretty cool). Then I very stoically went around to anyone who wasn’t right there when this amazing event occurred and told them. Ellie JUST WALKED! Right now! In Tina’s living room! My expression was acceptably inscrutable. I’m sure you couldn't see the joy beaming from EVERY CELL OF MY BODY. They should bottle this new parent stuff and sell it on the streets. Forget crack this new mom stuff is whack. (reference to Whitney Houston quote- Crack is Whack? No? Too soon?) Poor Whitney.
Where was I? Oh yes, not crying in front of people and also tripping myself up on my constant struggle to STAY IN THE MOMENT. I live in the future, I always have. I think it’s why I’m a bit of an optimist. Like, Chris Christie is a bit of a midnight snacker. (That was an easy jab and I apologize). But I don’t like him so I’m not deleting it. He said no to a bill that would have made it illegal (or really hard anyway) to keep pregnant pigs in gestation crates. THEY CAN’T EVEN TURN AROUND. It’s just while they’re pregnant they say, well, I have two things to say to that.
1) HAVE YOU EVER BEEN PREGNANT YOU TINY HEARTED MORONS (I have and let me tell you if I couldn’t even turn around for the length of my pregnancy I’d be bat-poop crazy right now. Ah, more than I already am).
2) So you let them go after they’ve been pregnant once right? Out into a field of green grass and poppies and rainbows and butterflies? No? Do you make sure they’re pregnant as much as you can so you can squeeze as much money out of them as you can? Right.
Where was I again? Oh yes, living in the moment. I think the key to a calm heart and a clear head is living in the moment. The past is gone, the future is never promised. It’s just, I use dreams of the future as a way to cheer me up if I’m feeling down. I imagine what Christmas will be in this new house if I’m feeling bored or frustrated. When Ellie is teething and cranky I imagine what it will be like once Ellie is in school and I’m helping her with homework, or if she will want to play soccer or play the piano, or both. It kind of lifts me out of the present doldrums, reminds me there’s more to life than the drudgery of right now. I daydream, I always have. But in doing so I think I may be missing out on what life has to teach me RIGHT NOW. What there is to enjoy and learn from in this moment. In this boredom, if I snap my attention back to what is happening right now all around me what a different person I would be. If I could only pull my head out of the clouds long enough to look around and realize this is it. This is my life, and it’s good.
And then I think, ehhhhh there’s nothing going on here right now. Ellie is leading me around the house for the thousandth time, holding onto my fingers as she navigates the circumference of the house again and again, her new favorite past time. Toby is asleep in his bed, or licking his paws. Bill is at work. The deer out back are eating the grass. The sun is shining (or not). Life isn’t ready to teach me something EVERY MINUTE OF THE DAY. Sometimes, life is just kind of boring. And then it hits me. Wait, whose life is this anyway? It’s mine. Don’t I decide what kind of a life it is? And the answer is yes. And I have a tendency to skate off into my head instead of stepping outside and letting adventure take me where it may. Ahoy, adventure ahead my matey’s!