To be clear, right off the bat, we’re not heading in the ol’ treasure every moment, live each day like it’s your last, seize the moment, don’t let a day pass without hugging every person that you love on the hour every hour direction. In fact, we’re headed in a bit of the opposite direction (not so much waste your life while never appreciating anyone either, however).
I’m obviously fairly new to parenting, but even after 10 months, it is striking how many times the world has teetered on the verge of complete and utter destruction, but not gone over the edge. It’s enough to almost question the self-evident truth that when things don’t go as anticipated, the world will probably end in the next 10 or so minutes.
I’m not saying I have this completely mastered, but a good perspective check on “those” days (i.e. most days) is to remember that now isn’t forever. Okay, let’s get technical with some true or falses based on this premise:
Isa is crying uncontrollably, therefore, she will spend the rest of her life crying uncontrollably.
I feel overwhelmed and clueless, therefore, everything I have ever been good or competent with, along with everything I know, has all been for naught and I am now Overwhelmed, Clueless Chris.
Isa doesn’t want to take a bottle, therefore, she will be ridiculed throughout her high school years and unable to be gainfully employed (would you hire someone who can’t take a bottle?).
I’m tired, therefore, I will never feel well-rested or energetic again.
Okay, so how did we do? Rest assured that if you missed one, you will never get a true and false statement right again. Ever.
The great thing is how you share these universe altering crises with your parents and they nod and smile. Excuse me for not finding the end of existence on earth as we know it amusing. Again, though, some irrational voice says that maybe they know about some loophole that allows for continued existence beyond such ripples in the matrix.
The point is, only a crazy person would treasure some of the moments that we get to experience, but that doesn’t mean that we forget about all the moments worth treasuring. Perspective treats every piece in light of the whole. We’ve all succeeded at this some times and hopelessly butchered it many times.
I know that as a parent, I am learning that now isn’t forever in so many ways that I hadn’t before. Sometimes it comes as a relief (in the rough times) and sometimes it chokes me up a bit (when Isa smiles at me or waves or crawls towards me). Either way, the reality of it isn’t changing. For me, that’s my greatest motivation to be diligent in parenting her in the way that will serve her the best long term no matter what the in-my-face reality is. The first step in doing that well is simply keeping perspective that now is now, not forever.