We have a lazy weekend routine in our house that started many years before we had children. My husband and I like to loll around in bed, taking our time to wake up. Our weekdays start very early; my husband leaves for work by 5:00 and me by 6:00. By the time Saturday rolls around, we need a break from our morning madness. Since the birth of our sons, we’ve held on to this tradition as best we could though with a few adjustments. We no longer doze and linger in bed reading, drinking coffee for hours; now we snuggle, cuddle and tickle little boys for as long as they stay agreeable. Our oldest pads in every weekend morning on his own. The youngest calls from his crib across the hall. We take turns braving the early morning cold to fetch him.
It’s my favourite part of the week—I focus on nothing but the three men in my life, wrapped warmly in the cocoon of our bed.
This weekend something extra special happened. My oldest and I were quietly cuddled together when he said:
Mommy, I hit my head on the firetruck at school this week. It hurt mommy, and I was crying for you.
I responded: Oh honey, I’m so sorry that happened and that I wasn’t there.
I was really missing you mommy.
My heart split open wide. I’ve never felt more intensely like a mother than at that moment.
I’ve always considered myself to be an outgoing person. I enjoy getting out and engaging in the company of different social groups. I’m comfortable in a crowd, and I happily attend events filled with strangers. I’m not shy and small talk comes naturally.
But in these last few months as I’ve focused on changing bits and pieces of my life, I’ve realized how intensely I need the quiet of my home (I say this quite loosely considering I have two boys under 5) and the comfort and routine of predictability. Dani Shapiro wrote this week about being self-protective. She wrote that “we must protect ourselves from that which throws us off course.” When I read that, it’s like a part of myself clicked into place. A piece of my own puzzle that had been elusive and indistinct.
You may remember when I wrote about my plans for 2011 that I talked about Gretchen Rubin’s Happiness Project where wrote extensively about of Being Gretchen saying that the idea of the person she wishes she were obscures her understanding of who she actually is. What I describe here is a classic example of me learning what it means to Be Christine. I like to be at home, I like quiet nights and weekends free of obligation. I long to live life simply, but have felt guilt because of it. I didn’t believe that that was the person I should be, what a successful person was.
While seemingly a simply realization, it’s a vital connection to my recovery.
While we’re on the subject of my plans for 2011, we’ve reached the end of January. How is that possible? More importantly, how is it possible that it’s time for a new theme? In January, I focused on meditation. Toward the end of the month, because of a persistent cold and other challenges, I lost my focus a bit. Ironic actually. I’m in no way done with my meditation practice, I think it’s here to stay. I’m certain I’ll revisit my progress with it often.
In February, I plan to explore food in honour of reading Women Food and God by Geneen Roth for The Maladjusted Book Club. Strictly speaking, I wouldn’t say I have food issues. However this book made me really consider how my life is influenced by food. I’ll be writing about it all through the month.