I’ve been writing these ‘Ordinary Moments’ posts for a good couple of years now and of course there have been times when I have missed the odd week, mainly due to illness or holiday’s. But for the most part I have managed to think of something to write most weeks for quite a long time. Sometimes the posts are emotional, sometimes they are about a milestone one of our children may have achieved, perhaps what we’ve been up to, or often just general day to day life. I sat down tonight like I often do, Jon was in the kitchen cooking fajitas ready for us to switch off and enjoy our Saturday evening, but for once I simply couldn’t think of a single thing to write about.
Life at the moment is just coasting along. But far from being boring, I quite like it when it’s like this. There’s the promise of exciting things on the horizon, but none of those are set in stone yet. Instead we just revel in the mundanity, the routine and the structure that make up the majority of our time. We parent, we work, we tidy, we cry, we laugh, we shout, we cuddle, and we go about our day to day business. The days pass us by quickly, even though we aren’t doing all that much. A lot of our life is about routine at the moment. Our baby boy has his longest nap in the morning, he generally goes down about 9.30 and will go anything from one to two hours. The weather has been terrible so we’ve been hibernating indoors a lot, probably not making an effort to get out when we should do. I keep promising myself that I will join baby yoga, or swimming, or got to a baby group. But to be honest as sad as it sounds, I’m just happy being at home. It’s comforting and I’m enjoy the comfort of the ordinary.
Yet there is a world of extraordinary opportunities that lie in the realm of ordinary, and we have our ways in which we do simple things to breathe more color into our days. Those little moments that bring a sparkle. Like this week when our baby boy moved properly for the first time, just a simple drag rather than a crawl but his two sisters shouted and cheered like he had conquered a mountain. Or when we were driving in the car earlier today and I turned the radio up loud at a random moment in a song and all four of us did one of those laughs where you can’t stop and then you end up laughing just for the sake of laughing, forgetting what was even funny in the first place. Or more superficially than that, when you buy a bunch of daffodils on a grey and dreary day just to brighten it up even a tiny bit, or when you decide to treat yourself to a new top, or put red lipstick on for the school run just because you can.
I often feel like these days with young children are like having your own, small, slightly funny little tour guides ushering you through life, pointing out the things we often neglect to notice. The excitement when Mads comes home from school telling me something she has learnt or even getting so enthusiastic about her lunch, or the way that the other day my Mum bought LL a little Lego figure mystery bag and she got the ‘rubber duck Batman’ and shouted so loudly in excitement, with a smile so wide, that it made both my Mum and I get tears in our eyes. Or even the way our baby boy eats his lunch, how something as simple as a pack of raisins is a world of discovery, the way his little hands reach out to grab them and then he promptly spits them straight back out again. Their job is to find those colourful, exciting moments out of the thin, bland air of ordinary life- your job is to follow them. To learn to appreciate them.
Sometimes it seems like these moments—and the organised chaos of our everyday life—will go on forever, an endless blur of snotty noses, hand holding, tantrums over who wants to have the green cup that morning at breakfast. But they won’t. Someday my children won’t run into our room in the morning so excited to see their Mummy and Daddy. Some day I won’t have to tell Mads to stop jumping around like a flea when we are out and she is holding my hand because she is just such a ball of energy that she can’t sit still. Someday I won’t lie feeding our baby boy his last feed at night time, I won’t stroke his head or watch him stare at me with unconditional love while his big sisters chatter and argue as they get ready for bed.
So I take comfort in the ordinary. I relish the mundanity. I look forward to possible adventures to come but enjoy the routine and structure that make up our lives. It’s not always easy. But there’s no where else I’d rather be.
(Some unrelated photos of myself and my boy from the other day!)