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.