Today, after doing the dishes, with my family out walking the dog (who is old, and thus moves slowly at best), I stood in the yard. We had the stereo cranked up. A song I hadn’t heard before was on the radio. I stood very still for a moment, head turned toward the evening sun, wind blowing my long hair off and onto my bare shoulders, listening to the music. I stood in a striped maxidress, the dress hem fluttering around my ankles. To truly be mindful, you have to focus on the tiny details – like my hair on my shoulders (it’s one reason I rarely, if ever, wear my hair up in a ponytail, and why, at age 42, I still wear it long). The sun on my face, the song on the radio (I don’t know who it was but they’ll play it a million times again), the breeze.
It lasted maybe two minutes, max, before my five year old raced by me, up the stairs of the deck into the house (leaving the screen door open, of course). But it was one of those awesome moments where mom gave way to me, and I had a sense of time standing still, a rarity with two kids five and under.
It was one of those quiet moments – not silent, but quiet – where I could just make time stop for just enough time to compose myself. Raising children – even part time as I do (since I work full time) is hard, intense, demanding work. At this very moment, recounting that moment, I am nursing a toddler to sleep. Well, he’s not nearly close to sleep, one foot bouncing up and down, the other hand twiddling the other side which drives me nuts but seems to calm him down.
Don’t get me wrong, I do not want to rush this time, these babies, into independence. I’m very much happy where I am (but go to sleep already!) I know they’ll get there faster than I want them to, and faster still than I expect. But that moment, I would love more of those. That stillness, even with the world going on around me.
I remember another such moment. Six years ago now, we went to a beach wedding on Lake Michigan for two friends. A beautiful spot, their family lake house, I walked down to the lake, a long chiffon maxi sundress floating around my legs as I walked through sand. The juxtaposition of fancy gowns and bare feet in sand. I remember the wind in my hair, the late afternoon sun, the sound of the waves. The bride was not yet down the beach yet, we were assembling before their nuptials. A pause before celebration. It was one of those moments. I was, as yet, childfree, but barely a month before I would conceive my long-awaited daughter, now 5.
I know this is a sewing blog. But I had to interrupt it with this moment. I see a pattern, of course, of the dress, and for that, I’ll invest some time in sewing another long maxi dress or two.