The problem isn’t figuring out what to write about (because my brain is always swirling with ideas), it’s getting the thoughts from my mind down into a more concrete form.
If I just sit down at the computer with the intention of writing something, usually nothing comes. The good ideas are more likely to come at inopportune moments, while I’m doing something else, like weeding, or laundry or most often, snuggled up in bed... those quiet moments when I can think. Then, somehow when I sit down to write, it’s surprisingly difficult to extract those jumbled thoughts bouncing around in my head and turn them into something even remotely coherent.
I could never get the totality of it out. It isn’t even that it’s stream of consciousness. That implies one long path. This is more like branches of consciousness, where one word in any one thought could spawn 8 new thoughts all flying off in their own direction. And it’s almost like I’m able to think them all at the same time. I don’t know if this is unique to me, or if we all experience monkey mind to this extreme degree.
To make my point, none of this is what I was thinking about this morning just as I was about to get out of bed to fire up the computer. This was when Joey came in looking sad because she’d had a bad dream.
As I lay there, cuddling her, I tried to repeat the seemingly important thoughts to myself so as to etch them in my memory. Then I realized that the moment of her needing this from me was a fleeting one and I should enjoy it while I could. Every day I read so many reminders from parent bloggers to really appreciate this time because it flies by fast. It has almost become a cliché. And it would be, except for the truth of it. A truth which I should probably understand more than the others. Most of them have kids that are still little, babies even. Our youngest is almost 10, our oldest is 18. Believe me, I know how quickly it’s gone. Much of it already is for us. One moment, you’re just hoping to survive the nights when you get no more than 90 minutes of sleep at one go, the next they’re moving out to live on their own.
(Joey and her big sis, Kenzi)
But, for now, Joey needs my arms to comfort her, so that’s what I do. And I do it without letting my mind be somewhere else. I focus on the sounds of our breathing, hers, faster and shallower than usual, because of the terror of the nightmare, mine, working to be slow and measured, in an effort to quell my impatience to be capturing the quickly fading thoughts in writing.
This is my meditation.
I calm myself in order to help her do the same. I can feel myself slowing and grounding and allowing her to learn that from me.
That, for me at least, is being a parent. I can’t remember one word that I’d planned to write. And I’m fine with that.