The last few weeks have been a blur of activity. I have been hard at work organising a fashion fund-raising event for SIDS and Kids, whilst dealing with the every-day craziness of my life. There have been late nights and mother guilt and reliance on beautiful friends and family. There have been highs and lows whilst organising the event. And then finally the event itself, over and done with in the space of a few short hours.
Today, I spent most of the day just holding my Elijah. I was going to do the neglected house work. I was going to tie up the inevitable loose ends after an event. I did none of those things. I spent some time with a dear girlfriend and the rest of the day curled up on the couch cuddling and playing with my precious baby. I do not do this very often. I do not give myself permission to do this very often.
As a society we have an obsession with busy-ness. We measure our worth against how much we do, how much we achieve. I am guiltier than most – packing my days with all sorts of activity. Even when I pause for a moment, my thoughts turn to checking my Facebook or email. My mind constantly chattering. Thoughts flying from one place to another. Rarely settling in one spot. Rarely allowing me to just focus on Elijah and nothing else. Not his food or his bath or his sleep routine. But just Elijah himself. Getting on the floor with him and playing with him. Tracing every one of his features and committing each eyelash to memory. Just marvelling at his smell. The things you do with a newborn that start to fade as they grow.
After Xavier died, for the first time in my adult life, I had the gift of uninterrupted time. I chose to spend that time connecting with my son. A wonderful friend and I would exchange epic emails about our sons gone too soon. I would craft and create. I would walk. And at times, I would just sit and be. I would sit and wait for a sense of peace. A sense of Xavier to descend. I could not do this in the hurly burly bustle of every day life. I needed to set aside time. I needed to make that conscious decision because it was the only way I could mother my son. In the depth of grief, the present was my only friend – the past held too much pain and the future too much fear. I had to practice mindfulness. I had to let silence into a life that previously had only known noise. Because my Xavier can only speak to me in a whisper on the breeze. My Xavier needs the silence.
Elijah lives and breathes and cries and demands my attention. I do not need to consciously create space in my life to be his mother – it comes without my doing anything. But I do need to occasionally reclaim some silence and calm in my life. I need to stop and smell the baby. I need to stop the busy sometimes and give myself permission to just be. Just to sit still and be comfortable in the silence. To know the value of it. To appreciate that those moments are part of my being a mother to my three boys. And a vitally important part.