After messing around building a sled run in the garden whilst keeping the kids and Goliath out of Ali's hair, I sat down on the log under the balcony. I leaned back against the rough wall, the low autumn sun warming me and I breathed in the smell of pine needles. My eyes slowly looked up to take in the view
and in that instant everything was right again in the world.
I could see my actions and mood over the last few weeks, my inward focus, how disengaged I was with the children, my resentment of Goliath, my exasperation at D's antics and knew I had had a choice. In that moment as soon as the regret came, it just washed away. I was just grateful. I looked down at D as she sat down next to me and smiled at her, probably the most full hearted and happy smile I'd managed in her direction for weeks and she smiled back. I think she really sensed a change in me, off she'd potter, then come back and snuggle up next to me and with a shriek demand my arm around her shoulders. I'd look down at her, next to my thigh, thinking how perfect and tiny she is, with legs dangling off the log. Again we'd exchange a smile as she rested her head against my chest. For whole minutes she just sat there with me, when normally she doesn't stop moving, I loved and embraced every second. I was present.
Happy moments like this don't come all the time, wish they did. Without some bad times how would you recognise the good? (I try and convince myself) But these are not bad times, frustrating yes, and sometimes boring but I'm choosing to kill time on my phone and not be present. Every day I have hundreds of choices, when D brings a book and smacks me in the face with it do I scowl at her and turn away in a huff, or do I drop my phone, pay her some attention and read her the book? I've made plenty of positive choices but I would say that the general theme had been more - than +
How can I be impatient, angry and frustrated at this perfect being. She just wants to be loved. She also wants to put her fingers in the plug socket, and reaching for a sharp knife from the counter often seems a good idea, emptying all the books onto the floor is a daily routine, helping herself to the china is normal for a one year old and poking the dog's nose is just irresistible at times, but mainly she just wants her dad to enjoy being in her company. Today I am. Won't be every day I'm sure, but today I really am enjoying being with her.
Can I keep it going? I don't know but I intend to...
It's tempting to convince myself that it will all be better when the waiting and stress are over. It will all be better when we move to wales. But that's rubbish. Whatever is ailing me now I will just take with me. If I want to make a positive change it may as well be now. Small steps, more + choices, less telephone time, but also taking a bit of time each day to just sit and enjoy where I am and with whom. Being present and grateful.