Today I Lived.
- 19/ 11/ 2013 <--Prev : Next-->
Written by Rachael Mary Stafford
Today I was awakened by the sound of shuffling feet. It was my early-bird riser in her big sister's pajamas that drag across the floor. I wanted to pull the covers over my head and feign sleep.
But instead I got up and made toaster waffles that she said tasted 'divine.' She kissed me with syrupy sweet lips. Getting up wasn't my first response. But I did it. Today I lived.
Today she lost her shoes for the 37th time in two weeks. It was right before we needed to head out the door. I wanted to scream, to scold, to throw my hands in the air. But instead I held her. I held her. My shoeless girl. Together we found them wet with dew in the backyard and she whispered, 'Sorry, I am forgetful, Mama.' Being calm wasn't my first response. But I did it. Today I lived.
Today the birds chirped noisily through the open back door. Their cheerful chatter seemed to accentuate the deadlines, the laundry, the mess piled up around me. I wanted to slam the door and silence the temptation; there was so much to do. But instead I put on my running shoes and my favorite hat. With each step, I got closer to what mattered and farther from what didn't. Letting go wasn't my first response. But I did it. Today I lived.
Today I stood in front of the mirror sizing myself up. It was apparent that stress and lack of sleep had left their mark. I wanted to dissect each wrinkle, pinch each layer of soft skin But instead I looked away and said, 'Not today. Only love today.' Loving myself wasn't my first response. But I did it. Today I lived.
Today I threw together a simple dinner and scooped it onto the plate. It looked pathetic and unappealing. I wanted to question my worthiness based on my cooking skills. But instead I hollered, 'Let's eat outside on the porch! Everything tastes better outside.' Offering myself grace wasn't my first response. But I did it. Today I lived.
Today I was on a mission to tuck my child into bed as quickly as possible. It had been a tiring day, and I just wanted to be alone. She asked if she could listen to my heartbeat. Reluctantly, I lay down beside her and she drew her head to my chest. 'We have the same heartbeat,' she announced. 'How do you know?' I asked expecting some child-like reasoning, but instead her poignant response brought me to my knees.
'Because you are my mom.'
And there it was. My confirmation.
To choose to stay when I want to retreat. To choose to forgive when I want to condemn. To choose to love when I want to attack. To choose to hope when I want to doubt. To choose to stand when I want to fall.
Today I lived. It wasn't my first response. But I share the same heartbeat with two precious souls. And that's enough to get me through the day.
I will choose to live again tomorrow.
Rachael Mary Stafford