A few weeks back, I stood washing bottles*, feeling frustrated (about what, I can’t recall – which speaks to it’s importance), and overdrawn. It was a trifecta of emotions/circumstances, and was leaving me in a downright foul mood. As I maddeningly scrubbed, rinsed and repeated, I saw a leaf fall from the birch tree that stretches into our backyard. It was one of those late summer falls, where the leaf isn’t hastily carried to the ground by wind or rain, but rather, does a lilting, dancing, float to the ground. That float, while only five seconds, was just long enough to bring me back to the onset of last spring. To the memories of my holding Kian beside the windows of our home, pointing to the trees, and explaining that those chartreuse buds were leaves beginning to unfurl with life. ‘We’ would chat about the fun and carefree times that were about to follow as we headed into the warmer months.
So much has changed in ‘those warmer months’. While only 4-5 months have passed, it feels like a years worth of change has occurred. Much of that feeling comes from Kian’s growth, but also, in how Ricky and I have better grasped that elusive balance of parenthood, our relationship, and our individual selves. It’s strange to feel like time is flying, while at the same time, feel like more has happened than time should have allowed. That disparity in feeling versus actuality, is something that I’m realizing is a component of parenthood. Life feels full in a way that I’ve never experienced. That means that those precious moments are both more plentiful, as well as quick to pass as they are replaced by another.
Reflection and perspective are hard to come by during times of feeling overdrawn – even if all the reasons for it are good. It’s easy for my mind to fill with the ever-present needs of life. When I’m able to tap into a deeper headspace though, it resonates loudly. I’m reminded to cherish these moments, and to acknowledge their fleetingness; to recognize that to be overwhelmed and overdrawn is not bad, but rather, it is as a sign that my life is full and well rounded in it’s successes, obstacles, and challenges; and to be forgiving to myself and to my loved ones, because despite the frustration that may sit at the surface, deep down, forgiveness and understanding are what I truly desire and would hope for in return.
Without fail, leaves will always be a mark of time. They’ll be an opportunity to check-balance where you are and where you have been, and a reminder to let go of those things that are not consequential and meaningful to your life, and to cherish those that are. I hope that as the leaves begin to turn golden and fall, and then emerge again green, that I will remember that five second float.
*which any parent can attest to being the worst.