Hannah loves camp. She relives each day with me every night as I lie in bed with her and ask her about the exciting, fun moments at her new special place. She wakes up early every morning ready for what activities lay in front of her for the day.
This year she takes the bus. We wait outside and play as she waits with anticipation for this big yellow symbol of maturity and independence to drive up. When it appears around the corner she throws her Hello Kitty backpack over her shoulders, grabs my hand and pulls me anxiously toward it as she searches through the windows for her new friends.
Yesterday she started to dart toward the bus and then something caught her eye. Since early in the spring we’ve been watching the hydrangea bushes grow in the front yard. They ended in the winter as old brown sticks low to the ground and since then we’ve watched them through many stages. Small green stems without leaves. Longer, stronger stems with soft, floppy green leaves. Large, bushy, overlapping stems and leaves with tiny white buds. And recently, we’ve seen the small buds gain color and bloom more and more each day. And yesterday one of the new flowers stopped her in her tracks.
She whirled around mid leap and stopped to study it. Smell it. Appreciate it. The bus waited impatiently, the bus counselor standing in our driveway ready to lead her to her seat but she pulled me toward the flower and insisted I smell it too. “Isn’t it beautiful mommy? It’s perfect.”
She was right. The periwinkle flower Was perfect. I’m not sure I even would have noticed it had she not pointed it out to me. Sadly, I often notice the flowers when they’ve started to brown and look forlorn rather than revel in their glorious beauty early in the season.
Once again, one of my children showed me how to Stop. Take notice. See what’s around me and not simply rush from one obligation and task to another.
It’s July 1. As my friend Lindsey pointed out last night, it’s the midway point in the year. Half over. Half beginning. I’m going to use this Middle point to Stop and See. See what I’ve done and what I still want to do this year. See what Is around me and what is Waiting for me to notice around me. Pull out those resolutions (yes, I did write some back in January) and remind myself what I Promised to do (and kick myself for making them so damn hard to achieve!).
I’m not promising to look at this half way point in the year as a reason to start being more productive or rushing to check things off my list. Just the opposite actually. Per Hannah’s recommendation yesterday, I’m actually going to look at this 6 month mark as an excuse to Slow Down. Sit by the pool and close my eyes. Read a book. Rub my dog’s belly for 15 extra minutes. Drink my coffee on the patio. Allow Luke to walk around bare foot in the dirt, even if it means time washing them off in the sink. Walk by the hydrangea bushes a little slower each morning to see each new bloom as they appear.
Because at this rate, it will be Thanksgiving and Chanukah and New Year’s before I know it. And I’m not ready to write my new resolutions yet… not until I enjoy Today a little first.