Sunday, September 23, 2012

Life Right Now

Lately I feel life going at a pace so quick that I sometimes wish I could press pause. Now that Rafael has turned one year old, I am learning first hand why parents look at their grown children and say, "Time went by so fast." 

Before I had a child, there were always days where I could say, "Today I'll get those book shelves organized. Today I'll get those kitchen shelves organized. Today I'll sleep in read and bake and write a letter. Today I'll give myself a pedicure and iron my husband's big stack of shirts." I could always rely on at least one day a week where I could focus on something, and then relax for the rest of the day.

Fast forward to life right now: All the things on that list still have to get done somehow and at some point. But now I can't plan days where I can focus on them. I have to squeeze them into scattered moments of opportunity, in between the things that need to get done on a daily basis. Sometimes I wonder why the day to day chores can seem so exhausting to me, and then I realize it's because, in the back of my mind, there is this long list of things that I know I need to do, but have no idea when or how. Clean out the (unbelievably cluttered) pantry. Baby proof the kitchen. Clear out the spices. Re-organize the pots and pans. 

And then there are things that I dream of and wonder if I will manage to actually make them come to be. A terrace that is abundant with plants, flowers, and creepers, making it feel like a secret garden hideaway. A large closet in our bedroom so that we can finally have all of our clothing in one organized, neat space. How will any of these things become a reality when I find it challenging to squeeze in a shower long enough to wash my hair and shave my legs?

The truth is that life with a toddler races by. The days are a whirlwind of fixing meals, entertaining, cleaning up messes, and going to play dates. There are moments where I can look at Rafael and just study his face, feel my heart throb with unconditional love and awe, and live for one second in whole awareness of the blessing that he is. But mostly, if I look back on my day, I can hardly remember a single thing. I know I got a lot done...the house is (relatively) tidy, the dogs are fed and walked, there are stacks of folded laundry, and my baby is sleeping quietly in his bed. But the details of the day....hmmmmm. 

Another thing that has changed are the mornings. I need to wake up every day, no matter how the night was, ready for action. When Rafael wakes up, he doesn't lie there quietly for a half hour, getting his thoughts together and planning the day ahead, and waiting politely for me to wake up. He opens his eyes, sits straight up, and says with a big sunny smile, "MAMA!" He is ready to play, ready to grow and learn, and ready to take on the day full of energy and interest. As he crawls over me and points at things and babbles all the words he knows so far, I am blinking with tiny eyes and trying to get my senses in order, half asleep and catching a blurry Raffi a dozen times right before he falls off the edge of the bed, with arms still half numb with sleep.

The photographs here were taken today, at Raffi's friend Clara's birthday party, in moments spent outside with Ramon getting fresh air, visiting the kittens, the garden, and the tractor. Looking at these pictures, I am filled with mixed feelings. On one hand, they don't really represent how our day was, or how life feels right now...they are much too serene and quiet for that. But on the other hand, these are pictures from our day, and so, there truly are these moments, too. Maybe this blog is the place to collect photographs like these. Maybe this is my place to forget the mundane, and the list of things to do. Maybe this is the place I can imagine, for a little while, that my life is just as simple as these pictures.



  1. Hey! Always lovely to read your thoughts and a belated Happy Birthday to Rafael if I haven't said it already - you are such a beautiful looking family! :) xxx

  2. Hi Dawn , Hope you had a wonderful weekend . Raffi looks cute and all the pictures are beautiful . Dawn you look very nice did u had a hair cut ? well i always love to read your post .

    Hope you are having a great day always nice to visit your blog

    Mary Chicago il

  3. Dawn,

    You must stop focusing on the unimportant. Who cares if your pantry or cookware isn't organized? Who cares if your floors haven't been vacuumed in a week? Do what you can and forget the rest. You are going to drive yourself crazy over nothing. You are still living in the mindset of a woman without children.

    As you said, the days are passing by quickly and you must stop obsessing and focusing on perfection, when that is not what is important.

    Enjoy your days with your son and improvise with the housework. In another 6 months to a year your son will be going to a little pre-school for a few days a week and you will have all the time you want, then.

    Children need to spend the day with children, not adults, and that time will be here before you know it. In a couple of months, Rafael will be running around, talking in three and four word phrases and need his energy and attention channeled into constructive activity. Send him to a lovely little pre-school for a couple of 1/2 days and watch him blossom and you can have some time to yourself.

  4. You have so eloquently described my days as well. My son will be a year in 6 weeks. Time is so fast and the days are tiring but Ohhh so happy. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!! :)

  5. When I had small children, I put a lot of projects "on hold." I'm not sure if I ever did get back to them, but no one went hungry, had clean clothes when theirs were dirty, and knew they were loved and protected. They became children who loved learning and managed to achieve regardless of my unorganized closet.:) You are doing such an important thing at this point, Dawn. I well-remember many of the same thoughts as yours. Hugs to all!

  6. Our son is going to turn 1 year old next weekend and it sounds like we are living the same life :)

  7. Wow cheers for that. R is such a cute little charmer. Got my eye on your next posts as well as that little kitty.


  8. I got used not to make plans many years ago when my three children made them for me, now I'm a nonna and still do not like to know what I will be able to do before today becomes tomorrow..... the only thing I allow me is to make a resumé of the few things I had in mind and really did, but: there are so many unexpected which ask to be done and are acomplished. Today I cropped lots of perfectly green tomatoes between two heavy rains, why, I do not know but this is done, a few spiders wave their webs in hidden corners, sure I will not disturb them
    ciao Mada

  9. It can all wait, Dawn. You are giving Raffi the priceless gift of your time and attention. You are there for him, teaching him, loving him, comforting him. Please know the importance of time for yourself, though. You must carve that out and have "me" time every now and then. You will be happier, more grateful, and will worry less about what shape the house is in. Ramon can be in charge for a while. Spend a few hours doing something that you love. Something that nurtures your spirit. As a mother of three sons, I can testify that you will blink and Raffi will be driving a car and will stand taller than you. No matter the age, my sons still tell me they love me. And my pantry still needs cleaning out!! xo

  10. Oh yes, the time does fly and those moments can be fleeting. I kept journals to write down things I wanted to remember. Now I can go read them and recall it all and smile.



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