I Believe in Cherishing the Mundane

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My husband got a call the other night as we finished a late dinner. One of his friends had two extra tickets to the baseball game and wanted to know if he'd like them. Of course he did.

It was the perfect August evening – warm air, calm breeze, the promise of a beautiful sunset. Who wouldn't want to go to a ballgame on a night like that?

And do you know who my husband took? Our five-year-old.

I was deflated. Logistically, it would have been impossible for me to go with him. Even if we had scrambled for a babysitter to watch our two older girls and toted our new baby with us, we'd be late by the time the sitter arrived. If we went as a family and bought extra tickets, we'd be seated in different sections. Our two-year-old would melt into a puddle of exhaustion before the ninth inning, and I'd be sitting in bleacher seats attempting to nurse the baby. It wouldn't have been pretty.

I knew this. Mentally, that is. Emotionally, I wanted nothing more than to head to the stadium, soak up the ballpark atmosphere, and watch the fireworks illuminate the inky black sky at the night’s end.

On nights like this, I sometimes wonder what we did with our time before we had children. I imagine that there must have been so much time, so many opportunities for spontaneity. Of course, it’s easy to glamorize and edit this former life. It’s easy to remember only the freedoms we enjoyed while overlooking the different responsibilities we contended with then.
After I tucked the little ones into bed, I retreated to my backyard and climbed our small hill to watch the sunset. Crickets heralded the ending summer. From where I sat I could see the stadium's lights in the distance.
One day life is going to open up again. One day there won't be a baby to nurse, a toddler to chase, and a near-kindergartner to entertain. And when this happens and my house is finally clean and quiet, it will be easy to look back and edit the monotony from these current days, to reminisce only about their beautiful fullness. Because they are beautifully full – full of an unexpected gift of a fistful of dandelions, full of the noise and dirt of healthy play, full of impulsive hugs, full of seeing the familiar through the fresh eyes of a child.

So, I choose to enjoy these days with my young children as they are now, gritting through the rough patches, accepting the mundane, cherishing the beauty. I believe that while these individual days may be long, these years will be short.

Comments

Chris Johnstone
State College, PA
Aug 30, 2010

Bravo, Robin.  I just heard (and read) your “This I Believe” essay, and it was wonderful—wise and true.  I also enjoyed hearing your voice as you read the essay.  Thanks for sharing such an important insight.  I was moved.

Chris

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