parenting wabi sabi
In my 20’s, I was always thinking ahead.
After school, I married my college sweetheart and helped support him through law school, always looking toward the house and the dog and those three children we talked about late at night under our faded t-shirt sheets. (Remember t-shirt sheets?! Do they still make those?)
I knew exactly where I wanted to go, but somewhere along the way, I stopped appreciating (or even paying attention to) where I was. I stopped being happy.
And I wasn’t the only one.
When my daughter was four months old, the college sweetheart left and I suddenly found myself in a terrifying new role:
I hadn’t intended on raising a child alone, and I’m not gonna lie, there was some panicking. I zombied through a lot of days. (Most of months four through six flash “file not found.”) But I got out of bed every morning (and several times during the night); changed every diaper; took all the temperatures; kissed all the boo-boos; and cheered every milestone.
That started out being hard—sometimes it’s still hard—but how tough it was and knowing I was the only person around to remember everything made me savor all the good parts, to really take everything in and try to remember it. To be thankful for every single moment. And eventually, something funny happened: the present began to matter so much more than making a new plan. I was measuring my days in simple pleasures: a good cup of coffee; Adelaide falling asleep on my chest; sunshine on my shoulder blades; buttercups in the grass. Those things pulled me through to the next day and made me grateful not just for what was good, but also for what was hard.
Becoming a single parent helped me slow down and pay attention to my life, to surrender to and embrace its imperfections. I will always be thankful to Adelaide for that.