My grandmother and I hugged and asked each other the same question we always ask at these things, these family cookouts, Christmas parties, get-togethers. How’s life?
She asked first, and so I let loose the usual Oh, busy, busy, busy, diapers, portrait sessions, kids in my hair, running on caffeine sometimes, I just can’t wait to not be so busy, busy, busy spiel that I spill out to just about anyone who asks how my life is going.
She nodded, but didn’t interject, so I kept babbling. I love it, I do. I wouldn’t want to be in my twenties again, but sometimes, I do think it’ll be nice to be just a few more years down the line. At least, to have the luxury of a trip to the bathroom without needing to referee a disagreement or give someone permission to pour their own juice, while shouting through the door.
My grandmother stared out to her great grandchildren, rolling over each other in giggling heaps of squirming bodies, climbing, running, playing across the lawn. She turned back to me and said, matter of fact, You know, you just need to live and enjoy today.
She was there without her other half, who was home with swollen legs (that they need to cut to drain at this point, she would later tell me) and she continued,
Sure, someday you’ll have more time, but then you’ll find that you have no one to spend it with. No one who needs you. Your body will have energy, but there’s nowhere to go. Your mind will want to do things, but your body can’t. There is no perfect age. Every stage of life, is just a stage.
Live and enjoy today. This morning, I am practicing.
Good Morning, Today.
This is to say that I see you, for what you are. I’m not looking for yesterday. And I’m not longing for a thousands yesterdays ago, dappled sunlight through autumn trees and long, responsibility free afternoons, coffee shop conversations, pondering over bagels and cold coffee, in the hypothetical, in the dreamy, in whimsical ways of a young adult – just exactly what would YOU look like.
I see you, and not Tomorrow. Not this weekend ahead or a thousand weekends ahead, when I’ll finally have quiet moments and fingerprintless walls, when evenings out won’t revolve around whether or not we can find a sitter and time returns to me in stretches longer than hour long car rides to and from work.
No. I see you, this tangle of moments, these pulses of a day living itself out, even as I type.
I see scrap paper and crayons snapped in half.
I see cereal bowls piled in a clogged, watery-milk filled sink.
I see antsy children. I see learning children. I see silly children. I see my children, here, in this day, growing one moment older right along with me, one pulse at a time. Today.
And where I see worry, I will counter with prayer.
Where I see idle hands, I will counter with work.
Where I see a mess, I will counter with patience and peace, crouched knees and damp cloths and countless trips to the garbage can.
And where I see myself, slowing, slumping, crawling toward dusk, I will counter with encouragement. I will.
Today is one day. You are one day. A short tangle of moments, straightening out as the hours stretch on, leading to tomorrow. And in a thousand tomorrows to come, I will look back, with wonder and longing and amazement at where I have been, at the todays I have lived. At you.
The ordinary and the extraordinary, the mundane and the magical. The cereal-spilled, never alone, can’t we all just get along and the what do I do now that I have time to myself?
Someday, you, in all your cracker crumb dusted glory, will be the moment that I will look back and yearn for.
And so for now, this is to say, I see you. Just you. Today.
And you’re beautiful.