These photos are from last week, playtime with Indy (can you tell she dressed herself? Two headbands are better than one!) The night before, I had had one of those "in a funk" moments in the car while driving home. Indy was probably being a punk, Tenny was screaming his head off in his car seat, and I hadn't yet adjusted to the lack of waning daylight in the evenings. As I've gotten older, I've gained the mental wherewithal to step outside my own head enough to tell myself "you will feel completely different after you go to bed and the sun comes out tomorrow morning," and I instantly felt better. Don't make too much of nothing; there isn't always something to analyze. Sometimes you just feel weird or overwhelmed but it goes away.
The next day, with the previous evening's thoughts still in my head, and feeling much better in the light of day (as I knew I would), in fact almost jovial, I acquiesced to Indy's requests to color. While I was snapping the pictures, capturing just a simple moment of playing with my daughter on an otherwise inconsequential day, I had some specific thoughts I knew I wanted to share, I think along the lines of how you should play with your kids sometimes because you want to and because it's fun, and not because of guilt, because it's good for them to play on their own sometimes too (all true), but since it took me a while to get around to editing them and starting this post (believe it or not Tenny and I are still at the tail end of recovering from that flu!), those thoughts have since sort of fluttered away. But as I was uploading these and looking them over, I was struck by a new thought, and something which I had shared with Alan recently: that it can be really easy to live with your eyes ever fixed towards the horizon, towards some time at which you will consider yourself to have "arrived." Arrived where I'm not totally sure. Sometimes it's just to the next big thing (a holiday, a vacation, a new house, a new baby), sometimes it's some time in the future which you envision in your head to be, somehow, where you are going, or the most important time in your life, or when the children are older or grown. I think I tend to envision sometime in the future when we own the farm, when all the (hopefully) many babies have been born and we're living in the "liveliest" and "thickest" part of family life. Young and busy and full. Or I spend a lot of time overly-fixated on discipline tactics, always with an eye towards the future and the wonderfully well-behaved and well-rounded children I hope my parenting will yield (ha! again, hopefully!) I fail to realize that life is all of these moments! Making breakfast, cleaning house, having friends over, coloring with Indy. If I fail to appreciate them I will miss the marrow. That doesn't mean "live in the moment!" and have no thought about consequences or the future, because the future will be your life and your children's lives too. Just don't miss out on the now. Discipline them, just don't forget to enjoy them too! There will be so many stages in our family, each one special, and right now I don't want to miss the goodness of God as it unfolds before me.