Monday, June 11, 2012

Ordinary Miracles

We all have moments when we find ourselves taking stock of things surrounding us. Sometimes it is something deeply traumatic, like the death of a loved one, that prompts us to reflect. Other times a perfectly blissful moment helps us appreciate all that we have, like a wedding day or the birth of a much-awaited child.
But for me, today, the mundane has brought so clearly into focus the unbelievable gift that is my life. I look around at the people, places, and events that populate my life, and I am disarmed by feelings of joy and gratitude.  Looking back at just the moments in my past weekend, I see a life so full, graced by luck and shaped by hard work. These three days are by no means out of the ordinary, but to me, they are miraculous. Sometimes I feel like the luckiest person in the world.
Friday afternoon, I walked to pick the baby up from the sitter. I try to take a different route through the geometry of my 15 minute walk every day and am constantly surprised by the nuances I have missed on every previous walk.  On this day, I took a path through an alley that brought me to these incredible sweet peas. They are lush and gorgeous, and I walked by them slowly to let their scent linger. Why would you ever want grass when you could have this?
I grabbed E and dropped off an order of granola, which came with a quick visit with old friends. This family has watched mine grow over the years, and I have felt lucky to maintain a relationship with them.  We came home and it was almost nap time, but we made the time to wander out into the garden and discovered a few of the first raspberries.  I held her close in the heat, trying to keep the thorny stems from snagging her skin and clothes. I fed her her first backyard raspberry. And then another and another, still warm from the sunshine, each berry greeted like a new discovery with a little moan of pleasure and wide eyes. She'd say "mmmm" and smash the soft berries in her hand first, flattening them and then sliding them into her mouth. I breathed in the scent of the nearby tomato plants, listened to the chirping of the birds, and realized that this is a ritual she and I will repeat over and over.
That evening, she and her father did our dinner/bath/book routine together while I went to a yoga class. It was my first practice in a studio since giving birth. It wasn't a perfect practice, but it felt good, and I used my relaxation tools from labor to go deep inside during savasana and ended the practice with an excellent few minutes of meditation.  I don't often leave my two favorite people unless I have to. It's something I'm working on.
Saturday morning we woke early, as usual, and as a family made coffee and scrambled eggs (I have been showing E how I make scrambled eggs for the last couple months. I look forward to the day that I can cook them with her.) from Salt Fork Farms. Their eggs are, hands down, the best I have ever had.
After breakfast, baby and I met up with a friend to visit the first big weekend of garage sales this summer. We all got great stuff.  Ellie is the proud new owner of a pair of pants embroidered with peas and carrots. I bought her an amazing wood potty chair, complete with mini-magazine rack, for $1. She loves it!
For a mere $20, I got five pairs of shoes, including Danskos, Birkenstocks, Privos, and Vibrams. I felt pretty darn lucky.
Then she and I headed to meet up with my parents, sisters, and her cousins. We visited the lake for the first time this summer. I fed her on the beach in the sunshine.
And then her aunt whisked her away to leave me on my towel next to my mother, watching them bob and float, giggle and hug.  The fact that E enjoyed herself while she was separated from me is a big step. We are trying to make her more familiar with her close relatives and more used to hanging out with them. It has been a challenge since she's such a mama's girl but she stayed in the water with her aunt for half an hour and then played on her towel for another half an hour. 
After some time on the beach, we returned to my parents' campsite and met up with all the cousins, where they played and we took pictures of the big people they are becoming. Again she was totally comfortable with them and I snuck away to take a much needed shower.  E tried her first Cheeto (loved it), got terribly excited about grabbing the new baby, and did a pretty great job sitting on a chair and giving us her best gummy smile. She seems to be finally working on her first tooth, so I want to get as many gummy pictures as I can before everything changes.
She and I headed home to grab groceries and she napped for the whole car ride.  Usually I have on NPR or music, but since she was sleeping, I just left the radio off. I struggled to remember the last time I'd had half an hour of pure silence and soaked it in. 
After the grocery store, we got home to find a few dinner quests already here and the house completely clean.  While I was off at garage sales and the beach, my husband stayed home and cleaned the house. (See? I told you I'm lucky.) Baby girl was the star of the show while I threw together some easy grilled food. Sometimes entertaining guests can be stressful and trying, but this visit was just plain fun and relaxing. 
I looked around the table toward the end of dinner and realized that everyone was sitting, rapt, watching E eat. She was chatting, showing off her food, and engaging all of them. Sharing her with people I love has been one of the most exciting parts of motherhood so far.
She crashed early and slept well, and I spent a little time with my husband, and then a little time alone with my book. Sunday was gardening, walks, and quiet, reflecting on the return to the work week.
I don't know when my routine became so fulfilling. I have always been busy, but never like this. I know that I'm constantly trying to keep the balance between the planned and unplanned, being in control and doing what feels good in the moment. I'm trying to get used to this new pace, and I have to say that I'm the happiest I have ever been. Don't get me wrong here. I have also had some of my lowest lows. But for the most part, things are unbelievably good. 
I'm trying to spend more quality time at the computer, too. I have so many great things to share with you, and a great little giveaway coming up really soon. 
Stick around, won't you?


Carrie said...

I miss you and your amazingly beautiful commentary :)

Sweet and Savory Eats said...

What a nice post. Motherhood is so fulfilling, rewarding and trying at the same time. Looks like you had a great weekend!

Eve said...

Thanks for liking our eggs so much! We appreciate it!

Eve said...

Thanks for liking Salt Fork Farms eggs! We appreciate it.

~eve (the mama, non-farmer half of Salt Fork Farms)

Alicia said...

Eve, thank you for your comment! We are very big fans of everything you guys put out. We really enjoy having you so close at Deluxe, too. I'd love to come out to the farm, take some pictures, and write about you guys sometime. And for the kiddos to play around :)

Eve said...

I work full-time off the farm, but we could work something out around that. We are getting new chicks next week and the calves are growing like crazy. Send u an email

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