My Wish This Thanksgiving: To Remember The Truth About Time
The other day, a friend and I went walking in our neighborhood and came upon a mom pushing her six month-old baby in a stroller. Neither of us know this woman well, but we see her walking her baby often. And our brief encounters always lead to small talk about babies, and of course the speed at which her little guy has grown. Since this is not her first child, she has mentioned more than once how quickly time moves, especially after round one.
Once she walked away, my friend and I agreed that we would do anything to have just a few more moments with our babies as babies. Except, we'd only go back if we knew what we know now.
What do we know now? Countless things, but especially the truth about time.
I recently wrote a post about the distress that I feel when retailers rush us right past November straight into the winter holiday blur. While it was a lighthearted reflection, the truth is that our lack of contentment in the present runs much deeper than my attempt at holiday humor. When my kids were tiny, I can’t say that I relished in each sweet phase of their development. I was exhausted and desperate to find myself in the midst of the circus show that came along with four kids under the age of seven. I spent so many days dreaming of just getting past the hard part. But, now with my oldest child just two and half years away from college, my concept of hard has dramatically evolved. And, honestly, my heart breaks when I struggle to remember what my world was like when she was a baby.
See, time moves on.
You know what I hope for each of us this Thanksgiving? That we truly pause to take it all in. All of it. The happy parts, the fun parts, the annoying parts, the sad parts, and the busy parts. To use a buzz phrase that often feels ironic, I wish for us all to be present. That means present in the diapers, present in the teenage eye rolls, present in the annoying political discussions with Aunt Sally, present in eating the turkey that you accidentally overcooked or the pie that got burned. And, this also means being present for the one and only Thanksgiving that your kid will be two, or ten, or nineteen years-old. Present for the year in which your dad is healthy, or your sister is able to visit. I wish for us to absorb every bit of it.
To those who feel that this is an oversimplified concept, I understand. And, I know this may be especially true for anyone facing loss or hardship right now. My family, both immediate and extended, has struggled with some serious life stuff over these last few months, so I say this as a person with reality resting heavily on my heart this Thanksgiving. But, I also appreciate that crisis moments, and even crisis seasons, tend to simultaneously shed a light on what’s most important and good in our lives. I’m so grateful for the clarity and perspective that only comes through the conduit of what’s hard. Maybe in this season, for you, being present simply means resting in how you are learning and growing, perhaps in ways you couldn’t have otherwise imagined.
So, here’s to the now. This Thanksgiving. This November of 2021. Here’s to the peace that comes when we take in every moment for exactly what it is, and we live right here.
Happy Thanksgiving, y’all.