It’s been four weeks since A and D entered our reality, and the world has shrunk down…to a very simple cycle – eat, burp, (poo/pee) change (diaper and usually, clothes), rock, and swaddle/sleep. Between feedings and naps – for them, of course, not me – I’ve had a lot of moments to mull over this new lifestyle.
The one thought that seems to surface the most among these brief and fleeting reflections is the pressing need to embrace stillness. I know I’ve blogged about quiet and solitude – really slowing down, but there’s something unique about this venue. It’s a completely different pace to follow the rhythms of a baby – the slow, waking stretch when I first un-swaddle them with their arms breaking free so earnestly, the precious and rare silence as they lay in my arms soaking in light and smell, the seemingly impenetrable sleep even as I have the vacuum running in the room next door (I’ve heard though that it actually helps them to sleep…). If it were me, I’d have them done with every “cycle,” in 20 minutes…
Sure, there’s some flailing around, but not like the kind that I am prone to in my life – gulping my food like there isn’t a moment to lose and rushing about the house like I’m preparing for some impending blizzard or storm. I literally have to follow their lead…to give them space to simply be…it’s a very tangible practice towards self-sacrifice.
Stillness…it’s like what Andy’s mom reminded me, “The buzz word these days is mindfulness.” The task of eat-burp-change is a spiritual discipline for stillness and mindfulness.
“One’s action ought to come out of an achieved stillness: not to be mere rushing on.” -D.H. Lawrence