Learning to Appreciate Each Moment
E (my daughter) and I spent a long time playing and painting today. She was too sick to go to camp but too well to simply watch movies all day. Sick days are hard because a) your child is sick and b) because you suddenly have to rearrange and often give up your own plans and your own work for a day left to chance. I’m trying very hard to appreciate each day with her and not to complain or be bitter about losing my own plans. I’ll have plenty of time for those, but E will only be 4 years old once. And we’ll only sit together and make paintings a few times in our lives. She’s an amazing companion, and every missed call or unsent email or delayed book revision can always wait. There’s always tomorrow for those things, at least that’s what I tell myself. And what’s the reward? There isn’t one. Children are born already breaking our hearts, in the sense that we can’t hold onto our time with them, and we dive into this vast, chaotic pool of sleepless nights and messy rooms and sick days and early mornings knowing that, if we are doing our job right, we won’t be needed soon enough. Being obsolete is the price we pay for raising an independent human being. So the reward is this minute, this second, this kiss, this hug, this smile, this silly game, this sweet breath on our faces and these arms around our necks. Every moment a gift. Every moment a goodbye.