There's nothing like carrying a 22 pound baby strapped to your chest. Seriously, I love it. Every day, Elliott and I go for an afternoon walk. She rides in the front carrier facing forward--it's the one that pre-baby I found absolutely hilarious...it always struck me as funny that the baby is just stuck there with arms and legs dangling. Now, however (like many things that immediately changed once it's me who was the parent as opposed to the person on the sidelines), I love it. It's one of the greatest inventions of all time, and I love having a way of going for a walk without a stroller and without my arms falling off (this is what happens when I hold her for longer than 5 minutes these days). I love how close she is. I love it.
So on today's walk a woman--with grown children she ended up telling me--commented on how cute Elliott was and then said, "Enjoy every minute...it just goes so fast."
She really just intended to be friendly. She was reminiscing about her babies. She was giving pretty true advice honestly.
"Ok," I said.
"You know nothing about me, and you really have no business saying that to me. No one knows that better than I do," I thought.
It was just a small encounter, and I'm not upset with her or anything like that. It got me thinking though. I do enjoy every minute with Elliott. Just like I enjoyed every minute with Miles. It's fair to say, however, that I do not enjoy it when Elliott is screaming before taking a nap, and that's ok, too. I'm beyond happy and beyond grateful for having her in my life, having her here in the world, but honestly "enjoying every minute" includes some really tough times (and it's completely possible to say "Oh my gosh, these are the exact kind of problems that I'm happy to have and I'm so happy and it stinks that she's screaming right now!"). This was true for Miles' life, too. I enjoyed every minute of having him here but was beyond upset when I had to leave his side or he had to have procedures or I didn't get to hold him when he was crying.
I have more than my fair share of perspective these days. It's something I would give back if I could, if it meant that I could have Miles instead of all this perspective. That's not the way that it works of course. So I have all this perspective, but I try not to say things like that to people. I guess I think it's not really all that helpful to spout out "helpful perspective" to people with "less perspective"...that's just not how it works. Everyone is trying to enjoy life simultaneously with just trying to survive it, I'm thinking. It's sort of like we all have this painful spot (for me it's the heartbreak of losing Miles for another person it's the heartbreak of not being able to conceive for someone else it's the heartache of not having a life partner for someone else it's yet another heartache). It's like we all have a personal sadness--and there's no comparing sadness...your own sadness is simply the greatest sadness there is no matter how compassionate you can be--and we manage the best we can with it. And if that's true, "enjoying every minute" is rather easy because you know how important every minute is yet it's also impossible to do because perspective simply doesn't take away the pain you--it's a hard road, that I know. I guess that having your eyes open to how beautiful every moment is can coincide with knowing how painful it is, too.