Updated: Dec 7, 2020
Addison and I had the best day today. Instead of spending the day thinking of our schedule and what needs to come next like I normally do (it’s just the kind of person I am, y’all), I found myself pausing and being present. I hate that I had to make such an effort to be in the moment and realized how much more I need to do that. But because of it, we spent a wonderful day together doing nothing special at all. And I found myself looking at this beautiful, vibrant, perfect little girl I get to fall in love with all over again every day, and I found myself pausing and wondering who she’d grow up to be, often.
Do you ever have days like that? Where everyone just seems to get along? Everyone is happy? And everything just goes smoothly? We had a day like that today. And let me tell you, it was AMAZING.
Not that we have frequent days where we are miserable and all falling apart. But we have hard days, especially lately. We are currently working on cutting our fourth molar and (I think) our canines are starting to make moves. And you know what else? I’m going to be completely honest. This whole quarantine and not being able to see people or get out and do things has been HARD. It has sucked. And I know that I’m not alone when I say, it is clearly taking a toll.
I am not here to discuss what you should or shouldn’t be doing. My family is taking extra precautions and are staying home if it’s not absolutely necessary. We are making decisions for us to keep ourselves and the people we love and care about safe. (But also, wash your damn hands, wear a mask and stay home, y’all. I want to get back to a more normal way of life before Addison starts kindergarten…) We are all going a little bit stir crazy, Addison included. I find that her temper is shorter lately, which despite my best efforts, brings out my short fuse as well.
But today was not that day. Today, we were blissfully happy to be home doing random odds and ends and soak up the time together. (Mental note, try to do that more often.)
We didn’t do anything spectacular. We just did our normal “day” stuff, honestly, with maybe one out of the ordinary activity sprinkled in just to spice up our week. Yes, I said week. We are riding that struggle bus haaard down south. If you have fun activities you want to send my way, I would probably kiss your feet. And I hate feet. Like despise them. Send. Help.
One of the things we bought Addison for her birthday was a little helper tower. I often pull it out and plop her on it when I am doing things in the kitchen that are going to require a chunk of my attention and I need to be able to keep an eye on her easily. It helps that Addison is also fascinated by being up high and watching me cook or bake. When she is in her helper tower is when she has the longest span of attention. It has been a godsend lately.
Today, we decided to make a cold Greek pasta for dinner. I cooked the chicken and noodles while she was down for her nap so that when she got up, the hot things were out of the way and I didn’t have to worry about her burning herself. I decided we would finish making the pasta together.
I pulled her helper tower out and she climbed right up on her own. And yes, I cried because she had never done that before. She was so eager to start helping it made my heart smile. With the pasta in a bowl in front of her, she immediately grabbed the spoon and started stirring. She was so happy just standing there, stirring a pot of pasta while I chopped some tomatoes and green onions to throw in.
I handed her the “fixings” as I got them ready and she took them from the cutting board, taste tested everything, and tossed them right in.
I couldn’t help but think, “my god, when did you get so big?” I realized at that exact moment; my baby is not a baby anymore. She is standing in the kitchen in her helper tower, which she got in all by herself, throwing things into our dinner and mixing them up. How? How did we get here? And how the hell did it happen so quickly?
“I wonder if she’ll become a chef one day?”, I thought mindlessly while we were preparing our meal for later. We finished up and moved on to the next thing I wanted to get done, which was our one out-of-the-normal activity for the week.
Brittany started a little home garden a few months ago and coincidentally, we did the same. She had some leftover seeds and roots that she passed our way to use. In that were some strawberry roots that showed up an embarrassingly long time ago. I am talking the beginning of this whole COVID crisis…. Well, I decided today was the day we were finally going to plant them. Why today you might ask? No idea. Just know that it needed to happen.
So, Addison and I headed out to the backyard, armed with soil, pots, hand shovels and our roots, ready to give our green thumbs a go with some of our favorite summer treats: strawberries. (Stay tuned, I tend to kill everything I try to grow, and we have about 4 months’ worth of freshness we lost by waiting so dang long to get them planted.)
I sat in the grass placing the roots in pots and filling them with dirt. Addison watched curiously and inspected each plant when we were done. She gets the final sign off on just about everything, after all.
As I watched her making sure I didn’t royally screw it up, I wondered, “could this be it? Could this be the moment that she develops a love for gardening?”
I have thoughts about who she’ll become often, but today I found myself doing it every time we tried our hand at any activity. I felt this immense pride that I could potentially be introducing her to what might one day be her biggest passion: cooking, gardening, none of the above at all, and I just couldn’t help but feel so overwhelmingly grateful that I get that opportunity. That I get to show her new things, introduce her to things she might love (or hate) and help her find her way to what makes her happy.
I don’t know if I’m doing a good job with her. I don’t know if I’m a good mama most days or not. But I do know that I am so incredibly proud to be the one to lift her up, expose her to her passions and help shape who she will one day turn out to be.
Let’s just hope I don’t screw it up, huh?