Recently, I wrote a post about mindfulness inspired by Stephanie Nielson of NieNie Dialogues. I continue to be grateful to her for opening my eyes and my heart to the countless moments of beauty that fill my days. Tonight, Markus came home quite late from work, and the afternoon/evening routine was sheer madness. Baby Stephanie didn't nap much today, so she was tired and clingy. Ellie didn't have any one-on-one time with Mama or Papa, so she was cranky and wild. Every time I set baby Stephanie down so I could do some work (like attempt to empty the dishwasher or start dinner), Ellie pounced her, took her toys, or otherwise harassed her so that I couldn't not watch their every move. Trying to prepare even a simple dinner of steamed veggies and pasta took ages. I was irritated with Ellie for torturing her sister and more irritated with myself for not having something planned that would engage her while I worked (yet when was I supposed to do that?!). Then I found myself in a beautiful moment. Ellie had commandeered two of Stephanie's favorite books and was contentedly reading them to herself aloud, and Stephanie was fully and happily engaged with a wooden spoon and a pot into which I'd poured a bit of water and some peas. The kitchen was a disaster area, the dishwasher was still full, and dinner was only half-done...but suddenly it just didn't matter. The routine was different and no one liked that, but the girls were content and peaceful, each happy with her own favorite activity. When Markus did make it home and I told him how the afternoon and evening went, I realized that pausing to enjoy that beautiful moment had diffused all the rest of the mayhem. I wasn't bothered or stressed at all; instead, I felt blessed. Life with little ones is rarely straightforward and easy, but it is beautiful and good.
Thanks again to Stephanie, for helping me to see.