Good old fashioned mommy guilt has been growing in me for the past several months. Guilt over a lot of things if I am to be totally honest. But the one thing at the top of my head is that I am not the kind of mom to bring my kids everywhere and expose them to amazing/educational/memorable things. It is so very easy for me to fall prey to the mirage of social media and see all of my mommy friends taking their kids to parks, museums, the beach, the mountains and more. I wish I was that kind of mom. I wish I had those resources. I wish I had the energy. I wish I had the support to make it happen. I wish my kids were the right kind of “sane” to even take to these places. Seriously, am I the only one whose kids act like maniacs when they are out and about? Home is safe. Home is predictable. Home has some tiny measure of control. But home is also heart-breakingly boring sometimes.
This weekend we experienced a rare weekend where all four members of our family were home and I was determined to make the most of it. So, we packed up the car, dropped off Baby B with grandma and headed to the zoo to surprise Little C. Sure, he still acted like a bit of a maniac while we were there and threw a few little tantrums in for good measure, but on the whole, my heart was very full and I came to the realization that my very favorite thing about being a parent is seeing the world through the eyes of my kids.
My heart lives for every “Ooooo!” and “Ahhhh!” and smile and grimace and sense of wonder. I love how my kids see the world… as if they’ve never seen it before. They haven’t really. But it opens me up to see things again, with a new set of eyes, and to appreciate even the smallest bits of beauty. Little C is really good at seeing the world. He notices the smallest of things that most people pass over. I don’t even think he was two years old when he spotted the tiny moon high in the sky in the early afternoon hours while we were out for a walk. “Moon! Moon! Moon!” he exclaimed. “No buddy, the moon isn’t out right now because it’s daytime.” But he insisted…”Mama, moon!” And I looked up and there is was. The size of dime, high in the sky, and barely noticeable. These moments happen regularly with Little C… when a rare rainbow lights up the sky, or with the sight of a common dandelion ready to burst and release it’s tiny helicopter seeds to the wind. From ugly crunchy leaves to airplanes soaring overhead, he sees it all and celebrates each tiny moment.
Little C loves nature like I do, and it’s there that we share a sense of wonder and delight with the world around us. I think he’s got my photographer eye and that excites me greatly. He see’s. He loves. He wonders. And he causes me to stop and share in those moments.
I am so grateful for this gift of motherhood. Of parenthood. Of God whispering in my ear, “Look at all of this, I made, for you.”