As if in slow motion, today I watched as my little Alex flipped out of the stroller in his car seat, face down onto the pavement. The car seat did a complete somersault on the ground and settled on its side with Alex still hanging in there. I was out for a run with BDHQ’s baby bootcamp class and heading back to the gym when I turned a corner with the stroller and the car seat tipped out. I knelt down on the ground in front of Alex, who is 13 weeks old, having visions of cracked skulls and heading to Emergency, but Alex just looked at me and blinked after his ordeal. He is totally fine (but of course I hope someday his friends don’t ask, “Hey Alex, did your mom drop you when you were little?”). Thank God.
I’m the kind of person who doesn’t really process things real time. It takes me a little while to think about what really happened and how I felt about it; I guess you could say I don’t usually live in the moment. My brain is in its own little world trying to think one step ahead, and sometimes that means missing what is happening in front of my face. Today I didn’t really think about Alex’s near miss until much later in the day. I continued on with bootcamp pretty calmly with my focus on just getting this workout over. But when I got into the truck and drove home I started to think about what happened, which progressed into thoughts about how I was lucky my son was not in an ambulance right now, which progressed into more thoughts about how life is fragile, and therefore one must make the most of the little things because they can so quickly change. Nothing like having kids to remind you of how old we are getting, and that time passes ever so quickly the older we get. This is no epiphany; we all know and say stuff like, “life is short; make the most of it.” But are we actually living that way?
I thought about how it was just yesterday that I introduced Liam to the ocean, dipping his 5 month old toes into the frigid Pacific. 3 years later, he owns his first wetsuit and jumps into and cackles at the cold ocean waves. Where did all that time in between go? It was spent with me working fulltime, pushing him off to daycare in the mornings and rushing through the evenings with him so he could get to bed at a reasonable hour and leave me with some time to do more work. With the exception of the first year of his life when I was on mat leave, Liam has spent and will spend the majority of his waking hours for the rest of his life with other people. And in November when I return to work from mat leave, sweet little Alex will begin the same fate. How heartbreaking to think I am letting their lives pass me by.
In the evenings when Liam comes home from preschool I’m preoccupied with making dinner, doing laundry, starting the bedtime routine, etc. He often begs me, “Mom, watch me play! Watch this! Please Mom, look at me!” And instead of seeing this as an invitation into his world I see it as a totally annoying request because I’m busy doing “important” things. He’ll say, “Mom, you not going to the gym or work today?” as his way of asking me to stay with him. I know when he is a sullen teen I’ll give anything to hear these words. I’m busying myself with things that are so not important in the grand scheme of life, processing Liam and Alex’s little needs way after they happen. I have written so passionately about my weight loss goals and how important being healthy is to me. Well, who gives a damn if I’m a size 2 but my kids are indifferent towards me.
I’m not a negligent mom...it’s not below me to don a superhero helmet and pretend I’m Spiderman at Liam’s request, or sing silly songs cross-eyed to try and make Alex laugh. But it doesn’t happen enough in my opinion and that really needs to change. I’m not going to quit my job or stop my quest for being fit for life—but I do need to make it a goal to find some much-needed balance between all my personal goals and being their mom.
I don’t want to wistfully read this blog entry years from now. I want my little guys when they turn into big guys say, “My mom is awesome—she was there for me.” This is not an area of my life where mediocrity will do!
Alex’s near face-plant this morning was a good wakeup call for me…not only to read up on stroller safety but to love my little mini men fiercely in the moment.
Momma love: going cross-eyed so Alex's little developing eyes don't feel left out and wearing Liam's wolf hat out in public at his request
Oh, and some of you have asked me about where I’m at with my fitness goals. Update, update: lost 3 pounds this week. I was not perfect with my eating but clearly I did something right. Ate small meals throughout the day, ate 2 servings of carbs a day, cut out sugar (except in fruits). Cheated on the weekend but did so intentionally (i.e. I planned for it and didn’t black out and eat a bunch of garbage without realizing it). Goal for this week: keep doing what I’m doing, and NEVER see that number on the scale again.