Thursday, August 23, 2012

30,000 Foot Perspective

Sorry..we're off to squeeze what we can out of summer before it's over!  I will post tomorrow on next month's goals.  Miss you!

We got stuck with a window seat on our way home from New York.  Normally I would have tried to change this, but I literally just made my flight.  So I took the window seat I had been assigned, thinking we were in for a miserable time.  But we weren't.  Baby and I looked out the window at the taxiing planes and buses and trucks.  Then, as we lifted off into the sky, we watched the city sink beneath us, a layered nickel-colored crystal on the edge of a glimmering blue-gray sea.  For quite some time I could see the rise of buildings and a depression with a green Central Park in the center.  As the city gradually melted in the distance, we crossed rivers and patchworks of fields and busy interstates buzzing with tiny traffic.

Baby and I read a book, then he nursed into oblivion while I tried not to watch the soap opera next to me :) and instead looked out the window as the landscape changed.  He slept and slept, while I drizzled crumbs of a long awaited meal on his little shirt, then brushed them off.  As we climbed higher, all that was visible were columns of white puffy clouds-- silent, thoughtful sentries that marked the way home.

Baby's head was cradled in the crook of my arm, his little mouth open, sweet little breath falling in and out so softy.  His soft ginger-ish hair was curled in little wisps over his ears.  His little body was snuggled up to mine.  He was like a little angel.  So still and peaceful.  And I realized, in one year things will be so different!  My baby will not be a baby anymore!  I'm so glad I had this time with him.

I thought about my trip.  About how it felt to see my sister again, about the city and its opportunities and excitements, about how easy life was with one child in a small apartment, about my children waiting at home, my husband, our garden, and our home.  Did I wish my life were different?  That I were single again, working in a busy profession, fashionable and important?  Doing things for me?  Yes, part of me did.  But only a very small part.  Mostly, I realized, I have a great life.  It is challenging.  And exhausting.  But it is so rewarding!  I wouldn't give up my crazy life with my five children.  They are what make it worth living.

I did think about things I ought to change.  Things I don't always see from an on-the-ground perspective.  Things that were suddenly more clear from a thousand miles away and 30,000 feet in the sky, surrounded by pillowy white clouds.  For example, after two very different weeks-- one on a remote but beautiful & beloved river, and another in bustling New York, I saw the same thing.  I saw that my possessions are the smallest part of the equation when it comes to my happiness.  That I used to live on nothing-- and it was happy.  I know that is not realistic now, but it made me realize-- how much time do I spend on "stuff?"  I think they're like Twinkies when it comes to real life value.  The things that last are people.  Realizing I need to go home and simplify whatever I need to simplify so I can have time for what matters most.

It was hard to leave my kids.  I always worry about safety-- theirs and mine.  I want to hold them in my hands and protect them from everything that comes their way throughout eternity.  But then they would never grow.  As hard as it was to leave, I'm glad I did.  It gave us a chance to miss each other.  And for me to show them how important my sister is to me.

I vowed within myself not to forget this time in the sky, just my snuggly baby and those clouds.  That I'm going to be different.  Better.  That when I finally return to Him, I can look Him in the eye and know I did my darndest for my kids that are really His.  That I can look back and know I didn't squander this precious opportunity to love, teach, and bless.  Because that is what life is really all about.

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