when not tended to, brain noise gets so loud i can't find the volume button.
when not tended to, i start to think i'll never think quietly.
i know i'm not special or unique in this predicament, i'm simply saying
how does one shush the brain noise enough, on a rather regular basis, to hear the present moment,
to hear feeling and heart rather than extraneous thought?
i don't want to think about what i'm going to say. i want to say it.
i don't want to think how i'm going to love. i want to love.
i don't want to think about how to do this or that (or incessantly google it). i want to do this or that.
i don't want to think about making mistakes, routinely rehearsing risk vs reward, always noise noisy noise.
and little action. lots of worry about an outcome. little movement.
before i head into a heap of 'i should's' let me retract this downward spiraling rant...
Inaction & worry: is not true of all things. many things- check. but not all.
there's this one thing i don't have brain noise about.
one thing reverberates essence and personal peace, inner ethereal feeling: calm.
'my' boys (though i have no ownership only the privilege of the present),
the moments i've seen my boys- who they are and are becoming as fascinating individuals, hilarious humans, out of the box thinkers... the moments i hear them and learn from them being...
being in the present as their mom, as their temporary field guide, co-climbing the mountains and fielding through woods, letting them adventure farther ahead, them pulling away at different points in the road-- bit by bit-- they are writing their own narrative.
I remember when i carried them on my back when their legs couldn't carry them yet, when they needed to nap on the journey and eat frequently, and couldn't yet make their own peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
I remember when my co-adventure guide (H) and i were told many things about leading this expedition called life with wee ones.
And when we couldn't understand these manuals others kept trying to hand us, we decided to write our own, to not be afraid of the things our hearts said about adventuring with the boys.
Even if that meant making gaping mistakes along the way.
Even if that meant all of us staying up late giggling and making up for the colic and tears during the day.
Even if that meant being poor but learning not to care what that looked like because we knew we could snuggle at the end of the day. And cuddles and snuggles we could do, that we were consistent with. that was the blessing of being unable to afford a nursery suite or smooshy crib bedding. wherever we all tired out at the end of the day, pacifiers swishy sounds, pudgy feet, bellies with marker from brother drawn all over, blankies half covering their busy toddler bodies smelling like outdoors where they played and dragged that blankie behind... my arm around their head, swiping the baby fine hair away from finally sleeping face, after whatever chaos (inner or outer) occurred that day, i lay there reciting thanks thank and more thanks. for these mysterious little miracles called N and L. i lay there forgetting the unknowns and knowing we were all right there breathing deep, alright, right where we needed to be for that moment.
They were tiny for oh such a short time.
And oh my i tend to have moments of regret-many decisions i made that landed me in places i never thought i'd be like treatment for various sundries or like college at 34 or like grown-up-ish responsibilities that i shirked for way too long...
but one thing i never regret, one thing i never look back on and feel a twinge of negativity. That thing is having spent oodles of time looking at my N and L in the face, eye to eye, un-rushed, too poor (thank heavens) to go anywhere or do much else, without frills or bells or whistles, connecting, contented, napping if we were tired, running in the rain if we felt like it, painting on huge paper with finger paints in essence paint ending up everywhere but paper, diapers and cowboy boots, john wayne movies at 3 and 2, talking (yes even the baby talk years) til way late til our eyelids shut from gratitude that we made it through the day- we did, somehow someway, and managed to extract the joy from it like that sweet pure sip of homemade orange juice.
in a world full of smart phone schedules and goal keeping computers with alarms for what we simply cannot miss tomorrow at two or the next day at six...
i held those boys, sang to those boys, climbed and hiked through the woods called life with those boys. i did it all imperfectly, many times i'm sure selfishly, i lacked discipline and consistency...
but these things don't bother me. These foibles brought me to my knees to plead in the middle of my inadequacy-- "help. please."
to which i found the answer those baby years...
just be. just be. calm now, cuddle these little adventurers before they head out on their own. Stop rushing, slow down, stop fretting about the future this or that, the 'plan', the weight, the wait, the wants.
for now just be. you don't need anything save arms to hug, ears to hear, a heart to feel, eyes to see and then a mouth to say a few words like 'i love you.' 'i'm proud of you.' 'i'm sorry, i made a mistake.'
words that now the boys say back to us, reminding us to keep saying them.
SO long soliloquy short, as the boys grow older and need me much less to lend them my field guide (my ever changing one at that) or help navigate their way,
i need to find a way to eschew others' field guides (when i'm tempted to compare)
and keep writing my own narrative, a changing one, a unique, admittedly often upside down one.
Just like raising the boys the last almost decade: journeying through a daunting forest of trees by finding the moments that mattered, the strengths to draw upon even when liabilities tried to derail.
Shush, shush, just be. just be. calm now...