Stopped to smell the roses. Wait, no I am serious.
As parents we have a unique chance to always enjoy the little things. We just have to remember what it is like to be a child, when everything is new and wonderful.
Does it really take that much out of our day to
……Stop and smile as you watch a butterfly flit around.
…….splash in a puddle or two after the rain.
…….wore something just because it made you happy.
I find that when the pain is the worst or the most annoying that if I focus in on what my daughter is involved in, the pain isn’t as bad. It may mean that I have to get down on her level. Let’s worry about getting back up when it comes time. Sometimes with chronic pain and parenthood we are so focused on doing that we forget to just ….be. That it’s okay to slow down. Sometimes just acknowledging that I am in a lot of pain and to slow down is enough to lessen it.
One of the joys in my life right now, is that I am an auntie and a family friend to enough other kids that I have my pick of age ranges. I can immerse myself in the infant stage or just chill with some eight year olds. If I am feeling really adventurous I even have a teenager or two I could annoy. I regularly get to enjoy my friends five year old as I help out by taking her to Tae Kwon Do. I am so immersed in the life of a parent of an eight year old that I forget what five was like. Sometimes it is not that thrilling. I completely forgot how at five my daughter was slow as molasses on doing ….well….anything. I forget how determined to do it themselves they are at one. I forget how exciting and perplexing a bird is to a nine month old.
Its amazing to me how much even just five minutes focusing on them can help sort us out. The pain is a bit more manageable, the stress is still there its just less. Does it always work? Nope. If I am really honest with myself though, its because I have not been slowing down enough. It is because I am trying to do everything all at once. There is so much guilt associated with being a parent who is in chronic pain that we tend to push our limits, all the time. It doesn’t help us. This is something I work at remembering every day.
When was the last time you……..
Sat in the grass and examined it for bugs?
pulled a part a flower to see what is inside?
stopped to blow on a dandelion?
took delight in watching the birds fly around?
As I think about the last five years dealing with chronic pain and parenthood. There were times that it was so easy to ignore everything around me and focus on the pain. It has been a slow journey to find myself again. The things that stand out in my mind are when I was basically hyper focusing on my child/family instead of my issues. Unplanned moments that just stick out in my mind. Will my daughter look back and see a parent in pain or a parent involved?
I hope and strive for a parent involved.