I read this post somewhere this week. It talked about being "in the moment" all the time, consciously choosing to enjoy each and every moment of your life."You'll never get another moment just like this!" crowed the author.
The cynic in me, the overwhelming part of my personality, cries out, "But what if I don't WANT to have another moment like this one?"
If you are washing dishes, for example, one is encouraged to enjoy the feeling of the water and the soap on your hands. Live in the moment, feel the peace and the joy invading your soul. Become a living, breathing, thinking part of everything. Fully embrace all situations in your life and live them out to the fullness of your ability.
Or some other such fluff.
I was scheduled to be a server for Mass today. I woke up early to get a project completed for work, worked like a demon on super hyper focus pills, took an exceptionally fast shower, and flat out RAN out of my house with my shoes untied and my makeup in my hands. I fretted over being tardy all the way there. I got to church at the edge of the allowable check in time, dropped one kid where she needed to be, grabbed my husband's choir stuff so I could pass it off when he arrived, and as I sat down in the pew -
I released the breath I hadn't known I was holding. And forced myself to drop my shoulders and just - sit.
One of my kids likes to hold hands. Actually, that's a lie - three of them do, and because I've not yet figured out how to generate another hand, sometimes someone's gonna get their feelings hurt. Every time I stand up, get out of the car, walk with my kids - there's people holding my hand. Grabbing for my hand, jostling others out of the way, crying if it's not their turn, hurt feeling flying through the air like donuts off a conveyor belt.
I'll admit, sometimes I'm not super happy to hold hands. My hands sweat. My kids lace their fingers, pull my fingers, twist their wrists and squeeze every last bit of air from between our clasped palms. They spread their fingers apart, pinch them close together, swing their arms wildly, cross their fingers over mine and generally, do what they can to blast all the pleasantness from a hand holding experience.
Sometimes, I try to avoid holding hands.
This weekend two of my big kids were gone, and one of my big kids was sick and had been for a long time. I had a stack load of stuff to accomplish and tried, as best I could, to power through what seemed to be a quagmire of responsibility in literally every single aspect of my life. I worked and worked up until the very minute I sat down in that church pew, and as I did so -
my daughter grabbed my hand. And there we sat, holding hands and sitting still. It wasn't a long time, only a minute or two, but it was long enough for me to realize that I only have a couple more years of people wanting to hold my hands. A few more years of juggling responsibilities and needs, wants and desires of a multitude of people.
Sooner than I think, these little hand holding people will be spending entire weekends away with friends and girlfriends, and moving out and creating lives that will be full and cumbersome without me. I hope that they won't forget me, won't forget that they once fought over holding my hands
and hope that I won't fight to let them go.