While I was giving my 3-year-old a bath today (not because he was dirty, but because it was 10:30am and we’d already exhausted all my ideas for the day, including watching a movie) I decided to paint my nails.
I chose a lovely shade of pale pink I’d received as a shower favor from my sister-in-law’s bridal shower in San Francisco back in July. This is relevant because I have roughly three nail polishes in my possession, all of which were gifted to me in some way, illustrating to you how infrequently I paint my nails.
It’s not for lack of wanting pretty, painted fingernails, but rather this mother’s inability to commit to a single task for 20+ minutes. Sure, the actual painting of the nails only takes two or three minutes, but the sitting. OH, the sitting! I don’t understand how the fine folks at OPI (who am I kidding, I don’t own anything that fancy) expect a gal to sit on her keister for that long.
Now, don’t misunderstand me. I love a good sit. But sitting idly? Oh, no no no. Like, what exactly am I supposed to do while I’m waiting for this polish to dry? Think? About what? All the things I could be doing right now?
Sure there are lots of great arguments for being present in the moment. Enjoying the splish splash of my son in the bathtub and pontificating the meaning of life, but I would argue that I can also do those things while I match socks.
Because mom life is about learning how to do all the things. And all at once. Pack the lunches, sweep up the crumbs, pour the milk, unstick the backpack zipper, find the shoes – all while smiling and listening, attentively to your son’s story about the new Pokemon he invented.
Of course we can be still and savor each individual moment, but then wouldn’t we miss the magical, whirlwind of it all? Wouldn’t we miss the chance to laugh in the parking lot because we showed up for the birthday party on the wrong Saturday? Or the opportunity to roll our eyes at our husband because both kids are asking me a question at the exact same time?
Despite the chaos of it all, isn’t that what makes parenting in the trenches so memorable? So defining and so worth it?
Because if we can do all the things and do them with enough joy and grit every day – then who gives a damn if our nails look like shit?