Small Change


It’s everywhere.  Scattered about.  Left as if meaningless.  Like garbage.  Sometimes I try to pick it all up and other times, I see it and step over it thinking, “Eh, what’s the use”.  Loose change.  Alone it really does mean nothing.  A penny used to be so much more.  A gum ball.  A sticker.  Good luck.  But now, alone, it’s worthless.  More a nuisance than of value.  But really, when I stop and pick all the change up, the pennies along with all their silver colored counterparts, one at a time.  They add up.  To something.

It’s like so many other little things in my life.  Almost meaningless alone.  But when stacked up, one on top of the other, these things become overwhelming.  Enormous monsters or massive joys.  One small arm to the next monkey bar can go unnoticed.  But two, three, nine monkey bars?  The achievement of a lifetime.  A shirt lying on the floor can be kicked to the side.  Seven loads of laundry, clean but unfolded, becomes a hindrance to life.  A moment of sadness from my seven year old daughter is a drop in the hat.  But a full-out tantrum from a girl too old to be flailing on the floor, makes me ponder my abilities as a mother.

I tell myself frequently to live in the moment.  Notice the little things because the joys are there.  In those small moments.  I peaked from behind my camera yesterday at Luke’s fourth birthday party to see his face clearly.  To see that smile I so often see but don’t always notice.  As everyone was singing happy birthday to HIM he relished the moment that was truly all his.  It was not about Hannah. It was about no one else.  Just him.  That moment on top of his smile as each friend walked in with a gift for HIM and the moments when his favorite friends each gave HIM a hug and the moment when he achieved “sit/stand” on the trampoline all piled together to form a most wonderful day. For him.  For me.  Because I noticed each little moment.  And didn’t look away.

At the same time, I often try to ignore little things.  Because so often they come in the form of an unnecessary comment that I put it off to my being too sensitive.  I ignore.  I let things go.  Let feelings pass.  But these days, I’m feeling the weight of all the “coins” piled on top of my shoulders.  The change is jingling in my ears.  It’s dirty.  It’s annoying.  It’s sometimes too much.  I have no use for it.  It just weighs me down.  But I’m not quite sure what to do with it.  I wish I could just brush it off.  But then, it would be under me.  Dangerous to walk around.  Left for someone else to do deal with.  It’s made me realize I need to deal with each little thing.  Say something.  One comment is easier to handle than a pile of them.

This metaphor is wearing thin.  I know.  But it’s a good way to illustrate what I work so hard to do.  Notice the little things.  React to small moments.  Appreciate what others might not.  Deal with what might often seem to small to call attention to.

Because in the end,  small pieces of change, can be worth more than all the millions in the world.

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11 Comments

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11 responses to “Small Change

  1. I try and take mental snapshots of moments with my brain and hope I remember them in years to come. I try to ignore all the cheese and taco shards on the ground because the kids are having so much fun eating and building their tacos. Their enjoyment far outweighs my remembering if my dining room floor was clean that day (because you know I still haven’t swept them mess)

  2. “The change is jingling in my ears. It’s dirty. It’s annoying. It’s sometimes too much. I have no use for it.”

    Love that expression of feeling and frustration! I try to live in the moment too but sometimes life is trying and I want to escape the moment I’m in. :)

  3. Oh Becca! How I have missed you! I’ve been holed up in my miserable little existence for the better part of 365 days, wading through the incredible amount of stuff to get to the other side, and it feels that I am slowly surfacing. I find myself peeking from behind the camera, behind the sidelines of their lives, wondering how we got here, in awe of the boys they are turning out to be…So hard to distinguish between the “leave it alone” and “must soak all this up” moments, eh?

    So, so happy Momalom have brought us both out of our woodwork!

  4. millermix

    I feel you on the piled up comments. I have (slowly) learned to say, “I know you didn’t mean to, but that really hurt my feelings.” My honesty usually keeps one comment from becoming a heap of negativity. Now, I’m only able to say it to my husband, but eventually I hope to have bravery to speak up with everyone.

    So, yes, notice the little things and react to small moments and comments, before they overwhelm you.

  5. The image of piles of coins on your shoulders… Oh, I get that. It’s easy to let them collect there.
    Maybe we can go shake them off in the wishing well?

  6. So much of this post resonated with me. I certainly could feel the weight of those coins on your shoulders. I long for them to just drop off as I walk forward. But it is so much harder than that. You have to analyze, evaluate and then make a decision. Know that you are not alone.

  7. I love the idea that the little things, good and bad, really do add up to something. And let me just add: I’m so glad someone else has children who are too old to be throwing tantrums but throw them anyway. Whew! =>

  8. sun4flower

    BECCA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If for no other reason than you, I am so glad I did 5 for 5!!! Not sure why right now, but I thought you had stopped writing. I loved the metaphor; didn’t wear thin for me. It was brilliant. And the laundry example was my favorite. ;)

  9. Yes, the snowball effect. One or two snowflakes? So pretty! Snowball? Especially in an avalanche? Not so much.

    I totally get that.

  10. Love this. The ignored, the insignificant, and their sum.
    Good to hear from you again, Becca!

  11. momalomjen

    Not wearing thin at all. I LOVE the metaphor. I love the visualization of a single item and a pile of single items that become a burden. It’s such a seemingly simple way to describe the reality of motherhood. So so glad you joined up. So glad to be reading your words. And so RIGHT THERE WITH YOU, buried in change and appreciating the millions. All at the same, messy time. :)

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