I woke myself up at 2:38 this morning sobbing. That deep gut-wrenching sobbing that is out of your control and you know it.
The anxiety had reared its ugly head again in the form of a nasty dream in which I probably not going to see my children grow up because of what I’m facing in the dream. They wouldn’t remember me. Or know who I was. Or care. (And I have to stop talking about it because I’m crying now. It’s that clear and vivid in my head still.)
You know that one, right? Every mom has those fears and worries buried somewhere deep.
So I got up and tracked down Hunter, who’d fallen asleep on the couch, and made him come to bed. And I cried and cried and cried and reached out repeatedly to touch him, just to assure myself that it was just a dream. While I laid there, all I could think of was what I’d do differently. If this were near the end of my life, what would I change? How would I treat my husband and kids differently? Would I use that harsh tone or yell about the clothes on the floor or tell them for the millionth time that, “I was not their maid.” Where would I want to take them? What would I want them to remember?
And then it smacked me between the eyes again..this could be it. The end “could” be near for me because it can happen in the next five minutes (you never know) and all they’ll have are memories of me. What would their memories be?
Lee and I walking yesterday and holding hands while we exercised together? Me being at their ball games and school activities telling them what a great job they’re doing and how I’m so proud of them? Me staying home with them when they’re sick? Making silly faces in the mirror? Me taking every flower they bring me and smelling it and smiling?
Or will they remember the yelling? The harsh words? The spankings (because yes, I have)? The throwing of clothes into baskets while ranting about a mess? The toys I threaten to throw away?
Honestly, I think it has to be a mix of the two really because if not, then I’m not parenting. It’s my job to teach them to be adults one day. Its my job to teach them, to provide them with experiences, to guide them, to love them beyond the shadow of a doubt and to demonstrate through my actions, what a loving, caring, Christian parent is. What a happy, healthy, satisfied life can be like.
But since 2:38 this morning, I’ve realized something. I have been living for “when things get better” or “when we have more money” or “when I don’t have to work as much” or “when they know how to behave.” Why? Those things might never happen. So what am I waiting for? What’s holding me back from those small moments? Those sweet slices of life, those “hinge moments as Jon Acuff puts it in Quitter (which I’m reading slowly), that change our lives forever.
Why am I waiting on later to make me happy? Because it won’t. I’ll find something else to get in the way, to slow me down, to redirect my attention elsewhere, to make me unhappy and dissatisfied with my life.
I don’t have an answer. But this dream…it has weighed on me. I know where it came from and why. I know my oldest shares these kinds of dreams with me, bless his precious tender heart. And even before the dream, I’d been repeating a phrase to myself a lot.
Be intentional with my words, my actions, my thoughts, my life. Focus on what means the absolute most to me. My family. I love them with all I have and I could not live without them. I couldn’t make it without Hunter. He grounds me. He’s my rock. He infuriates me at times but our love is deep and strong. I love those boys…dirt, stained socks, ripped jeans, weird projects, strange thought patterns, sweet gifts, loving hearts, beautiful, beautiful boys. They ground me and make me crazy.
I’ve been more intentional with time. I’ve said no more than I used to. But I haven’t been intentional with my family. I’m still letting other things distract me. I’m still waiting on “better” and “more” to happen. And I have to stop. I have to be happy, content, and IN the moment we are living in right now because its the moment I’ve been given.
Some dream, right? Dreams always make me take stock because they usually come from somewhere. Sometimes its just a crazy something you had wander through your day. Sometimes though, its a “take stock” moment that happens at 2:38 in the morning when you’ve looked one of your biggest fears in the face through the veil of a dream.
It makes you think.
Are you living “in the now” or have you been putting off things like I have? What does being intentional mean to you?