The last few years have changed me in many ways than I can comprehend. My life can be clearly demarcated by a line of motherhood. It has transformed me totally. And how did it happen?
The change did not take place in a day. It was quite a journey and a deeply spiritual one! Motherhood is an experience which makes you smile, cry, laugh, scream and at times frustrates and by making you feel like giving up. Honestly, there are moments when you yearn for a carefree life, but only for a second. A small hand, a little flick of the hair, strange crooked smiles, some toys lying around are enough to make your heart melt. You look around fondly while keeping away the soft toys to bring in semblance of order at home.
There are sleepless nights, undone jobs and piles of unwashed clothes. Some days have no routine and with no time even to think. You learn to take one day at a time and later one moment at time. This is ‘living in the moment’. When I observe my daughter engrossed in some activity, I am amazed! She is so focused. It is a moment when time ceases to be. We need to practice this giving all to the moment which ‘is’.
On Saturday nights after dinner, we sit together and try to create or draw something. a child by letting her take up the mantle of an elder. Her drawing hand is forceful and steady. She is gifted and has a way with shapes. At three years she had started drawing well and clear shapes with ease.
We see the world with biased eyes. The mental blocks do not allow us to glimpse beyond the mundane. A child makes you see extraordinary possibilities in all phenomenons. A child brings in fresh perspective. This is known as the ‘beginners mind’ in Buddhist terminology. Cultivating a beginners mind can be easily learnt from a child.
My daughter is my Zen teacher. She has made me realize that patience is just not waiting for things to happen, but it is also about accepting the transient nature of anything. The ever changing life and its conditions make every phase momentary. Even if we do not realize, on the subatomic level all things are changing every moment.
Looking at her as she concentrates to draw a leaf or something else I try to be in the moment totally. Soon it will vanish. In few years, my baby will fly away from my nest. These moments will be our treasure. At that time perhaps sitting away from each other, we will think of the happy times where we shared a smile, an idea or some yellow paint on our hands. Today I might not realize the preciousness of this very moment.
Later an untidy house and pending jobs will have no significance. What matters are these little scenes the stars in her eyes, the scream of joy, that look of anticipation, sticky glue on our fingers and the table covered with scraps of paper.
So when she wants to have a biscuit after hurriedly washing of the glue, I let her. She offers me and puts in my mouth. We laugh! A moment to cherish is born!
I completely agree with Diane Loomans
“If I had my child to raise all over again, I’d build self-esteem first, and the house later. I’d finger-paint more, and point the finger less. I would do less correcting and more connecting. I’d take my eyes off my watch, and watch with my eyes. I’d take more hikes and fly more kites. I’d stop playing serious, and seriously play. I would run through more fields and gaze at more stars. I’d do more hugging and less tugging.”