A few weeks ago, while 24 hours out from our trip to visit Sequoia National Park for our winter escape to the giants, my oldest kept yelling out, “Who wishes they were in Sequoia right now?!?” and all the kids would raise their hands. And it continued. “Who wishes we were at the Lodge right now?” and, “Who wishes we were in the snow right now?” and, “Who wishes we were sledding?” And then we started driving, barely out of the driveway for our 6-hour trip to the Lodge, and it started up again. “Who wishes we were already at Sequoia?!” And it persisted on repeat through many mama eyerolls.
I found myself so dang annoyed at her inability to stay present and enjoy THIS moment. After all, this moment is what we have. It’s what we know. If we spend our time wishing and hoping for a future moment, we miss what is right in front of us in this moment.
And I let it slide because I also resonated with her joy and delight about being back in the park and how special it feels to escape for a week to be there.
And then we got home, and she started up again. “Who wishes they were still in the snow?” and, “Who wishes we were still at the Lodge?” etc., etc., etc. And then I couldn’t take it anymore. “Bug! Can you enjoy that we took that trip together and not wish that THIS MOMENT was different than it is?!?”
And as the words were coming out of my mouth, they served as the great mirror that children can often be. Hey Mama, can you not wish that this moment is different than it is?
Hey Mama, can you stay in the present and enjoy this moment? Because this moment is what you have. Can you not project into the future, or get stuck in the past? Can you stay here?
This weekend, a new friend shared a story about her consciously calling herself to stay present in every moment (and so I was comforted to realize that it’s not just me and Anabelle who can’t quite seem to stay there… wait… I mean, here.) She said that she spoke aloud, “Now.” And maintained that practice as the mind would wander and she would call herself back with a gentle, “Now.”
So if you see me with a new face tattoo that reads, “And Now” you will understand, it’s just a desperate cry to learn how to live in the here. Appreciate the now. See the beauty in this moment. And this one. And this one.