Good Morning Friends,
When I was pregnant with my daughter, I remember I voraciously read books on how to raise a child. I devoured “What to Expect When You’re Expecting”. I was so nervous about trying to be the “perfect” mother that I fretted with worry wondering if I’d know what to do once my child was born. I type this now, nearly 12 years later, and I chuckle. Sure, those books helped me understand pregnancy well. But parenthood is a journey that you have to feel your way through. Natural instincts kick in once your child is in your arms in a way you can never expect.
When my daughter was placed into my arms, I remember this primal part of my being came alive and I felt like Gollum with the One Ring. I held her fiercely to my chest, caring for her every need. I sanitized our home from top to bottom daily, fearful of her getting a germ of any kind.
Of course, by the time she was running around, those fears became more rationalized. She got scraped knees, bloody noses, and I had endured every bodily fluid on my clothing from her tiny body. Everyone kept telling me to “be prepared” for the difficult part of parenting, but if I’m being completely honest, that hasn’t happened yet. People would mention the “terrible two’s” but at 2 years old, my daughter was a snuggle bug. Did she have her tantrums? Sure. Were there days when I had to put myself in time out so I could have a moment? Absolutely! But, on the whole, I have loved being a stay at home mom to my daughter.
Then, before I knew it, I blinked my eyes and she became a tween. I remember asking myself, “when did that happen?!”. She went from wanting to play with toys to learning to code programs on the computer. Her interests shifted from kids shows to anime and rom-com’s. Yet, all the while, I soaked in the joy and pleasure of getting to know my child.
Today, we made Welsh Rarebit together. The cheesy toast was comforting and warm. We munched on it while snuggled up on the couch. She told me about her favorite EDM songs and movies she wants to watch. The dish is humble, but it reminded me of the stark contrast to the toast that I ate as a child….
As a child, much like my own daughter, I was curious about the world. With curly, blonde hair and green eyes I marched into the world determined to know everything that I could. I would pepper my parents with questions, hardly satisfied with a simple “yes” or “no” answer. I think after a while my parents grew annoyed by my questioning, as they would take a piece of white sandwich bread, slather some butter on it, fold it in half, and shove it to my lips. Every time I had a question, thought, or opinion, out came the buttered bread.
On long car trips they would stock up a plastic bag full of buttered sandwich halves for me to eat for hours as we traveled for the holidays. They wanted quiet. I wanted to be heard. They wanted to be left alone. I wanted to explore. They wanted “grown up” time. I wanted my parents.
Today, my daughter wanted to know exactly how I made the Welsh Rarebit. I began showing her the step by step instructions that I followed. I showed her on Google Maps where Wales is located. We watched the video of the 18th century cooking method that I drew inspiration from, and swooned together over the bread warmed by a real, open fire pit. She had questions, and I was happy to answer them. We bonded, and it was nice.
Sometimes all it takes is time, patience, and love to slow everything down and make the most out of moments. May we all slow down to soak up time.
Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!