Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Stop. Breathe. There, That's Better

Yesterday started out as a really crappy day. Following a sleepless night up with my little one scaring away monsters, in which I found a tick and a big red rash on my leg, it continued with finding out it would be two to three weeks before I would get my laptop back from the shop and a trip to the doctor to find out that I have Lyme disease.

Ah, the inhumanity of it all.

As I got home from our adventures out in the real world, my daughter looked at me, sleep and love thickening her gaze and said "Mommy, rest on the couch with me."

I thought of all the work I was supposed to do. I thought about the dishes in the sink and the dirty laundry piled to overflowing in the hamper, and I realized that my wise little sage of a daughter knew what I needed better than I did. I needed to let go of the vice grip on myself, dial down the pressure I was applying, and take a breath.

A deep, deep breath. IN...OUT. I closed my eyes, wrapped my arms around her tiny little frame (how can something so small carry so much wisdom?) and positioned myself on the couch with just the right amount of pillows so that I felt like I was floating. My muscles relaxed and I felt like someone had removed a hat that was too small for my head as I sank deep into the sanctity of my couch.

There were moments when I looked over at the computer, sitting there so patiently waiting for me to come back to work. More than once I almost hopped up and started cleaning, organizing or straightening something, but each time I resisted and snuggled in closer to the warm fuzziness of my daughter's body heat.

At one point my daughter got off the couch and found two crowns amidst her dress-up clothes. She put one on her little head and placed the other on mine. "I'm a princess," she said. "And you are the queen."

I smiled and wore my crown with pride. How could I possibly be melancholy with this little ball of joy in my presence? My work could wait, feeling bad for myself was a waste of this precious time and the cleaning and stress of life was only a distraction from the beauty of this snapshot in time where I was completely relaxed, breathing and enjoying being a mother.

My daughter continued to decorate me with various combinations of mardi gras beads, bracelets and bangles and then topped it all off with the best bling of all--a princess' kiss placed gently on the queen's head.

I sighed and realized that the best gift of all could be someone wiser than you opening your eyes to what is right in front of you, and making you appreciate it. Have you breathed today? It could just change everything. All mommies are queens, and they all deserve to breathe once in a while.

So said the queen. And so it shall be.