My legs were so stiff from trying my new exercise video,, but I knew that this walk at the park in the morning hours would help stretch the muscles that seemed so tightly bound. Three laps I promised myself. As my usual self – my pace was fast and I was determined to make the most of this routine walk. Trying to tune out the outside world and get “this done.”
Being mom of many has caused me to “make the most of my minutes. I tend to think in every direction at once and my brain is on burn out mode half of the time.
Last spring, I was exercising at the park, and had all of my children with me. They were set up with their school books at picnic benches, the baby was in the swing being pushed by her older sister, and I made sure they had water bottles, baggies of snacks and tied shoe laces. It was time to get some miles in.
It didn’t take me long to pass the first retired person walking their tiny pup. Cute. My head phones were not working properly, and I was fiddling with them, when I could hear the hum of stroller wheels quietly roll on the pavement. As I looked up to re-adjust the ear buds in my ears, I saw something that impressed peace and conviction on my life for this day.
Approaching me from the opposite direction was a mom pushing a double stroller with her left hand, and holding a puppy leash with her right hand, managing them both while walking and getting her walking time in. I smiled sweetly at her two precious little boys in the stroller, all strapped in and quietly enjoying the fresh air and time out of the house. They smiled sweet smiles back and me.
And then I met her gaze. This mom that was multi-tasking also, and she smiled at me with an unspoken look that only mothers can exchange. This is work.
My pace slowed, I took a deep breath, and all of the new around me was more in focus. As I came around the long turn on the park path, I could see the mom with the stroller across the distance. She had stopped, and her boys were playing and giggling. Pure joy.
The long days of winter press in the walls of our homes, and the spring trips to the park are pure freedom and a fresh new look on life. When we let our minds wander to the hum-drum and sometimes mundane tasks before us, life can get out of focus. Even my oldest daughters were refreshed in spirit and joy as we took this much-needed trip to the park.
The unspoken look I exchanged with this mom told me so much. Yes, she was still working hard as a mom - walking two little boys and a dog. Packing all of the essentials for a morning out of the house is really no different from a week vacation – minus the vacation. Yes, it was work. But, it was so worth it. I could see peace. A strong sense of “Life is good today, isn’t it!”
The little things we sometimes forget to afford ourselves while we are attempting to be a good mom – will be the very things that make us - The better mom.
My walk was so full of peace. As I came around the second bend in the park walking path – I could see my children had initiated a game of kickball with one another. As usual – all other children are in school, while we live this “unschooling” approach on a rare day. What did I see beyond the surface of all of the packing of books, water bottles, snacks, diapers, baby-wipes, frisbees, and a kick-ball? Best friends.
My children and I were finding that joy that could easily slip through our fingers in trying to “make it through” another morning.
It is the little things.
A giggle from the swing-set. What gives a child so much delight in being pushed on a swing? I don’t know – But I heard the laughter, and could see the smiles – and I thought to myself – This has been one of the best mornings this week.
The Unspoken. Where is your mama heart today?