This morning my clock radio went off at 7am with the morning news.
It was not good news, given the current state of planet Earth: the political climate of North America, the atrocities children face overseas, and the overbookings of certain (idiotic) American Airlines. But, I had things to accomplish. So, I tuned everything outside our home out—got up, brushed my teeth, and ran down a mental list of everything I had to do to get the hellions out the door for school.
Blare some music: for some reason they’re obsessed with waking up to Centuries, by Fall Out Boy.
Get breakfast ready, make them actually eat it, watch the middle one brush his teeth (otherwise he won’t), make lunches, ensure the little one is wearing underwear, and pack a lunch the older one will eat, because he is, *insert eyeroll* just so tired of eating sandwiches.
But a funny thing happened while making said lunches. The little one looked at me and asked, “Mommy, did you hear the birds tweeting this morning?”
And in that moment I realized I had. I just hadn’t taken the time to notice them.
Living in the Maritimes, we face long cool winters, often with obscene amounts of snow. The songbirds migrate to hang out with
this as$#@le I know my friend who (constantly) brags about year-round AWESOME weather in Florida, and we’re left with crows big enough to steal your baby. The skies are ALWAYS grey. Now, I’m not a fan of winter in any way, shape, or form. It’s something I try to live through to get to the glorious seven weeks of summer we here on Prince Edward Island are blessed with, amid forty-four weeks I could do without.
At the littlest hellion’s behest, I opened the window.
Sure enough, it was warm outside. The sun was shining. There were fu%$@ng BIRDS in the tree overlooking my deck.
The moment the hellions were out the door and on their way to school, I dug my sports bra out of the very back of my dresser. I shook the dust out. I didn’t have to shake the dust out of my sweatpants, because let’s face it, I’m a mom. I wear those every day. I found my runners, and I went for a run.
It’s been TWO YEARS since I went for a run. My body did not like it. But, my soul did. I went without music. I listened to the birds in the trees and felt the sun on my face. I had to slow to a walk at the halfway point because of a sore ankle and aching hip, but even then I enjoyed every minute.
Would I have finally noticed the “tweeting” birds if the littlest hellion hadn’t pointed them out this morning? I don’t know. Probably. But there’s something about the way he said it–the pure joy in his face at the discovery that the birds had returned–that infused itself into my very soul. I was able to enjoy their presence the way I should, to just relax and be grateful they’d come back.
And maybe that’s why tired-eyed, spit-up wearing, sport-chauffeuring parents often nag unrestricted, sparkly-souled, bushy-tailed, non-parents to have kids.
Having children is the hardest thing anyone will ever have to do. There are sleepless
nights YEARS that can suck the soul right out of your body. There’s vomit. There’s crying, dirty diapers, sibling rivalry, pen on the furniture, paint on the walls, fights about parenting methods with your partner, phone calls from teachers, and elderly women in parks berating you for not dressing your child properly for the weather.
But there are also moments like these, where your child encourages you to stop, to take a moment to experience the world as they do—through their little eyes and ears—and see beyond the chaos . . . into these little slices of bliss.