As we sat watching hockey last night and discussing family travel plans, I said to my first born son “Oh that will fall on your birthday.” To which he responded “and then I’ll be 15.” It took the breath clear out of me. I know how old he is right now. I know how old he will be on his next birthday. But the speed of time and what it all means just winded me. Here is this human being who I have focussed the majority of my time and energy on reaching the sorts of ages and milestones where launching out in the the world is a very really before I know it thing.
The panic spread quickly from the pit of my stomach, to my throat and into my brain. That magical machine that does it’s best to send me into a whirlwind of self doubt. The dialogue sounded something like this “Have I done enough? Will he ever call when he leaves? did I break him? Of course you broke him. Should he have gone to school? Will he be able to do al the things he wants? Did I screw it all up?” And on and on and on.
Breath in. Breath out. Connect to something right now. Looking out from my panic stricken mind, I saw my fourteen year old son bouncing on a yoga ball while encouraging his favorite hockey team to put the puck in the net. His dad sat behind him and I to his side watching hockey together. This was all that was true. This which I could see. The rest was story old old story threatening to pull me into an imaginary world with a viewing audience of one. In the true right now all is awesome.
I can easily slip into a world of worry. It’s hard wired in my DNA. What I am working to remind myself each day, is that I can just as easily slip into the right now moment. The skill that works well for me is to take a breath and look around for something concrete in the environment. To really see it. Replacing future fears with a description of what is happening before my eyes. It’s not always pretty but it is tangible and full of choice. Choice about how I will react. Choice about what I will say. Choice about how I will remember. Choice between fear and love. This ability to drop into what I can describe in front of my eyes kicks in the unconditional love that has always flowed from me and pushes fear to the sidelines. Even if the fear stays, it’s on the sidelines and not running the show.
It’s true that no matter what I do my children will be a moment closer to launching in to the world with each click of the clock, whether I am paying attention or not. The holding on, the pausing of time, comes with the ability to see it all happen. To take that extra breath that pulls me out of fear and into the presence of love. Because as I have said before it is the love that matters most of all. The love that will be our forever bond. The love that will last beyond our years together. It’s up to me in each moment to choose love over fear in order to gather the most of this journey as a mother.