Don’t you just love it when something you read resonates with you so much that you (shockingly) remember it, learn from it, and continually reference it in your mind for the next few days?
It’s so rare that I remember anything these days except for (hopefully) who has to be where and at what time. But last week I read a fabulous blog posted in Momastery – it’s been around Facebook a lot so you might’ve already seen it. But if you haven’t, I’ll give you the gist: the author is frustrated by others continually suggesting she “Carpe Diem” – that she enjoy every last second of parenting because before you know it, it’s gone and you’ll wish for these days again.
I feel her frustration – I often get a sick feeling in my stomach when I realize I am not enjoying every single minute of this tough Mommy gig. I feel so guilty if I don’t notice every milestone (what in the heck was #3’s first word again?) or cherish every sweet face my kids make. Life is moving at warped speed and sometimes it’s hard to slow down and really document little moments in your mind. (And let’s be honest – I don’t really want to remember every single moment. Parenthood is hard work.)
And we are just coming down from one of the busiest Christmas seasons for us yet – how did it go so fast? Did I really cherish every minute? My kids will never be this age again, and the Christmas magic was so alive in our family this year. But I was just so busy trying to make the magic that I don’t think I even took a minute to remember any of it (although, ironically, my body is hanging on to the memory of every Tostito Scoop and chocolate truffle I consumed this season – funny how that happens).
She goes on to explain how she instead documents moments in two different types of times:
“Chronos time is what we live in. It’s regular time, it’s one minute at a time, it’s staring down the clock till bedtime time, it’s ten excruciating minutes in the Target line time, it’s four screaming minutes in time out time, it’s two hours till daddy gets home time. Chronos is the hard, slow passing time we parents often live in.
Then there’s Kairos time. Kairos is God’s time. It’s time outside of time. It’s metaphysical time. It’s those magical moments in which time stands still. I have a few of those moments each day. And I cherish them.”
I love this. Kairos time. Now that’s something I can remember.
I took the older three kids to church on Sunday for the last day of the Christmas season. It’s not all sunshine and blue skies getting the kids to church – the older two go to a Catholic school and sometimes just want a break from it all. But we made it there – sans napping baby who stayed with my husband.
Christmas decorations were still up (for the last day), and the cloudy skies made for a perfectly cozy morning in church. I noticed as we listened that the kids were in their own worlds.
My 6-year-old son was probably counting ceiling tiles. My 7-year-old daughter was comparing my hand and her hand just like I did to my mom (and I was silently saying, Please remember your mother’s hands!). And my 4-year-old son climbed in to my lap and fell asleep through the whole thing (and if you know anything about Catholicism you know that’s tough – there’s a whole lotta up and down for an hour). He’s still so snuggly even though he thinks he’s such a big kid. I doubt any of them was saying a prayer, but I was so happy that we were just still.
And for the first time during the whole Christmas season, I exhaled.
Yes, I waited until the last day to do it but I finally managed to enjoy the moment. I wasn’t making a Target list in my head, or worrying about what I was going to get my mother-in-law for Christmas, or rushing home to host a Christmas dinner for 12.
All I could think of was Kairos.
So thank you Glennon for such a beautifully written piece that is still sticking with me a week later. If you haven’t already, take a minute to read it and enjoy!