It was a rainy Saturday afternoon. My husband was getting some alone time in at the Switzerland equivalent of Home Depot. Mason woke up from his nap — God love the kid, he still naps — and wanted to play with bubbles outside. Bubbles and rain don’t mix but there wasn’t much else to do so we put on our raincoats. As I sat watching him gleefully pop each and every soapy bubble I blew his way, something struck me. We were both present. Present in the moment — and enjoying it.
I wasn’t monitoring his every move, making sure he didn’t slip off a step or leap off a swing. I wasn’t exasperated trying to explain to him that chocolate ice cream wasn’t on the menu at 8:15 a.m. I wasn’t wrestling him to win the “put on your shoes before you go outside” battle. I wasn’t on my last thread pleading him to hold my hand as he screamed “no!” while we crossed a busy street.
Bubbles surrounded us as we smiled and laughed. And like the bubbles, I knew this moment would be fleeting.
Soon would be dinnertime, which he would promptly reject before asking to eat half an hour later. After that would be the drawn out bedtime routine, not knowing whether getting him out of the bath would result in compliance or a meltdown worthy of an exorcism. Then brushing teeth which is usually the last battle of the day.
And of course, there was the quiet laying beside him after we said our prayers and read “The Little Blue Truck” for the hundredth time.
Where the day melts away and all those things I stacked up in my head to do after were merely a pipe dream. Because sleep wins out over alone adult time nearly every night.
A Balance Between Survival and Enjoyment
So much of parenting is about survival. I have no room, time or really the energy to care about the way other parents parent. My only goal everyday is to ensure my child is alive, safe, and relatively happy (although I’m quickly learning that doesn’t always have anything to do with me).
But there are those bubble-filled moments where the weight of being a parent lifts and you can just be. Be with your child and remember the innocent enjoyment in the little things. Small moments that aren’t laden with the gigantic responsibility of keeping a human alive and safe.
We all need those moments to remind us that things are okay, everything will be okay, and even if you don’t hear it, you’re doing a good job.
Find the space to just breathe.
The space is there. In between the bubbles.