When Keaton was just a little over year old I started a hashtag project “100 days of Gratefulness”. It was back when my feed was still private and I was taking grainy photos of my knitting and pool parties. I think it only really ended up being 30 days of gratefulness, but the concept stuck. I had chosen “Gratefulness” for my word for the year back then in 2015. That year I had an extremely painful surgery on my feet, and had trouble walking for several months. To me gratefulness for what I did have and could experience that year seemed appropriate.
As a teenager I worked in an assisted living center. Every time I entered a room I would take a moment to scan the walls and belongings they chose to set out. Happy photos of themselves as a young mother with children. Single dishes from a set purchased years before. Tiny stools made by fumbling young hands. These were the things that so many of the surrounded themselves with. As I talked to each of these women, their eyes would light up and the sunshine would pour though, as they would tell the stories from 50 years before of arms full of babies. They would recount how they watched with pride as their children grew. We would flip through albums of memories that they carefully crafted during their later years of their lives. Their eyes would glow as they would talk about those years of mothering tiny children.
Fast forward 10 years. I started spending time with mothers of young children. We would complain about the sleepless nights, the hours spent cooking and cleaning houses that always got dirty again. We sighed over favorite shirts ruined, or necklaces torn by small hands. One day as I was expressing a longing for some year down the road when I could have time to fully clean my house and sit for coffee, I felt a pang… I couldn’t help but think back to those ladies with perfectly clean apartments, perfectly curated scrapbooks, and sipping their coffee and longing for the days when little hands patted their faces and little voices begged them to read a story.
From that moment, I purposed to notice those little moments, to capture them and to live all those memories I wanted to have fully. I want to look back and have it there to relive, over and over again. I wanted to record the feeling of a small boy wrapped around my pregnant stomach. The way I felt when I placed my newborn on my skin and wrapped my robe around him (You can read my birth story).
There are days that are hard. No one who has been a mom will doubt that. We all know all babies poop. All homes get dirty. All sinks fill up with dishes. The things I want to capture and record here though are those little everyday things that I never want to forget. Things that when I read allows me to close my eyes, breath in deeply and go back to THIS place and THIS time, because these are my best moments right here and right now.
Just this past week, I caught myself sliding again. I was overwhelmed by how fast Cedric can take apart a room, and how I can spend so much time cleaning one space only to turn around and have 3 more rooms trashed out. I was complaining to my sister in law about some of these things when I blurted out “When did I become that person again? The one who complains about her life. I have a great life, two sweet children, and a loving husband. This is it! I’m saying it out loud. I’m not going to focus on that. I’m going to look for my beautiful moments again, and focus on those.”
Will you join me as I look for my beautiful moments again?
Will you also to purpose to see your beauty in the middle of stretch marks and sinks full of dishes?
If you would like more of this story, you can find it here.