As I sit down on my couch at 10:00 PM, I feel something sticky on my leg. Lo and behold, it is a half-melted, half-chewed, Gerber Yogurt Bite. I peel it off and instead of getting up to throw it in the trash, I toss it right on the floor. I have to run the vacuum for the thousandth time again this week tomorrow morning so what’s one more snack down there going to hurt?
Who am I? I hardly recognize myself these days. Once upon a time I would have never, ever tossed a piece of food on the floor. But here is how it all lays out. I don’t think I have actually sat down today except on…you know…the toilet; I have just spent the last hour boiling all the bottles, doing the dishes, putting all 150 books back on my daughters bookshelf, disinfecting the toys because I cannot put her in a bubble (believe me, I looked into it), and taking a very smelly diaper genie bag down three flights of stairs to the garbage; my husband is out of town so I cannot ask him to throw the snack away; and finally, it has been an exhausting week.
In shorter words, my friends, I think I have slowly began to understand the art of letting go.
The yogurt bite is really just a small example of what has truly transpired since becoming a first-time mom ten months ago. Ever since I can remember, maintaining control over what I can and cannot control has been a talent, if you will, of mine. But since Maisy was born, I have had to learn to let some things go. And though this new way of thinking by no means comes naturally, I think I have truly made strides.
If the above mentioned story was not proof enough, I have learned to let go of maintaining a clean and tidy home at all times. My child lives here. She spends her day exploring, learning, and playing. And most of all, she wants me by her side for all of it. So if I don’t dust every five days anymore, *gasp* I’m okay with it. *bigger gasp* I have learned to let go of my perfectly planned plans. Maisy has other plans. And though I put up a good fight, she normally wins. I have learned to let go of the small worries in life. The things that used to keep me up at night hardly cross my mind anymore. I have bigger fish to fry. I have learned to let go of some personal habits. Though I still make showering and coffee a priority, I cannot make any promises about my chipped nails, gray roots, and bags under my eyes that I am absolutely convinced will never disappear.
The most wonderful and beautiful outcome of this new outlook on life is that through learning to let go, I am in turn, able to hold on to much more.
I am able to hold on to precious and fleeting moments with my daughter much tighter and with more presence. I am able to hold on to watching her take new steps along her exciting journey. I am able to hold on to the things that fill my heart with more joy than I ever thought possible. I am able to hold on to all the ups and downs of motherhood and learn more about myself and what I am made of.
Don’t worry. I know the dusting still needs done, some plans need to be made and followed-through with, the small stresses of life need attending to, and I will seriously try to take care of those gray roots every once in a while. But when I kiss my babe goodnight, I know that she knows, I held on to her.
And that is everything.