12-Minute Memoir: Savor


Savor it.

That’s what everyone tells you when you have a baby. It goes so fast, they say. Savor it. Enjoy it. Take it all in.

It goes faster than you can blink, and one day, you're going to miss it.

It’s not that I don’t think that’s good advice. I really do believe in savoring the moment, because it does go fast, and somehow that extremely long and exhausting Monday turned into Tuesday, and now it’s Friday and then it’s next Monday, and suddenly it’s the start of a new month and you’re looking back not quite sure how you’re halfway through the year.

Savoring the moment is hard when it’s 2:30 in the morning and your baby is awake and you really just want to be asleep.

Savoring the moment is hard when you come home from work exhausted and your toddler runs sprints all over the house, dumping out all the Legos and crawling on the table, even after you’ve told her a hundred times not to do that (hypothetical scenario, of course).

Sometimes it’s hard to savor the chaos and noise, and to be honest, I don’t think all moments need to be savored. It’s okay to wish certain times away. Puking and sickness and the mental and physical fatigue of sleeping in two-hour bursts aren’t something I’m going to miss, and you just won't be able to convince me that I will.

But the sweet moments? I've been thinking a lot about those.

What exactly does it mean? How do we truly savor it?

I try to put my phone away and turn off the TV and just sit and play with R. We draw letters and shapes and build towers and throw balls, and I focus on her. I sit and watch her playing, and I wonder what else I should be doing to savor it.

I am deeply aware in that moment that this is once in a lifetime. This moment, right here, will never happen again precisely in the way it is happening now. Photos and videos are wonderful to have to look back on, and of course I take them somtimes, but I am not convinced that taking picture after picture, video after video, all day is the best way to savor.

In those times, I don’t want to do anything to take myself out of the moment.

So I sit.

I watch her climb into her chair and cross her legs, pointing her toes just so. I watch her position the bowl of yogurt in her lap and carefully pick up her spoon put some into her mouth. ("No, mama," she says when I try to help her.) 

I watch the yogurt land mostly in her mouth but also on her chin, and I try not to stress about the sticky mess I will have to clean up later. She turns to me and asks for “wa wa,” and I hand her the cup. She is really into drinking from a straw right now, which she always turns upside down so the long part is facing up and the bent part is in the water.

Her hair curls out from behind both ears and parts down the middle of her forehead, which also has yogurt on it from when she rubbed at her eye with a yogurt-covered finger. Her cheeks are flushed from playing outside, her legs scraped from a fall on the deck earlier. She’s not wearing any shoes because even though she demands to put them on, as soon as we are “otshide” she tears them off.

She turns to look up at me, her eyes big and brown, and she gives me a cheesy grin before going back to her bowl of yogurt. 

Am I savoring it enough?

Part of me wonders if there is something else I can possibly do to soak in more. I don't know, maybe there is.

But for the moment I just sit.

And I watch.
Jen said...

I think we all go about this in different ways and I think you are savoring it enough. We have to be able to take moments for ourselves.

Rach said...

It sounds like you are definitely savoring these sweet moments. I love how you described such a simple thing as a toddler eating yogurt as such a precious moment. Loved getting that glimpse into your mommy heart.

Michelle said...

This is so sweet.

Jenny Evans said...

So glad that someone else asks themselves that question, too. "Am I enjoying it enough" sounds like such a first-world problem to have, and it is, but sometimes I wonder exactly what that means.

Audrey Louise said...

The act of savoring is so hard to define. Even without kids, I try to sit and take in everything going on. Savor the time I get relaxing with just my husband or just the dogs. Take in how slow-paced and comfortable our Saturdays can be. Sit and enjoy a quiet dinner with just the two of us in our dining room. I feel like it's so important to take a memory snapshot of everything because you never know when it's going to change!

Torrie said...

Well put! I've thought a lot about this, too. Lately, I've thought about how sometimes, the thought of needing to "savor" every moment is actually guilt-producing rather than bliss-producing. And I think that's where it can go awry. I think, like you, it's just paying attention in the moment and appreciating it, without necessarily feeling the need to add a certain weight to every single moment with some big to-do.

Not sure if that made sense. But this post gave me some good things to think about.

The Lady Okie said...

I definitely think that statement can bring a lot of guilt. I saw one of the people I follow on IG post about how she was having a hard week bc her little girl was sick and puking all day, and someone actually commented and said something like "you're going to miss the puking one day." I was like, sorry but no. no one misses cleaning up vomit. That kind of statement can really make someone feel like they should be loving every single stage, when some days are just really hard, and that's okay. But I think we easily can become obsessed with taking videos and photos all day when sometimes the best way to be in the moment is just to enjoy it for what it is and not overthink it.

The Lady Okie said...

Yes! You don't have to savor the moment just when you have kids. Jordan and I talked about this too when it was just us. That's great you are aware of these special times :)

Erin LFF said...

Beautifully written, friend! Some of my favorite moments are when it's just me, Jared and T and we're all 'playing' together and just enjoying that moment. Because you're right, that exact instance will never happen again. It's okay not to capture it all on film or video because those memories in our brain aren't going anywhere :)

Allison said...

Sometimes I worry so much about capturing a moment that I miss it. It is so important to put our phones down and just watch. I love this post so much.

Laura Darling said...

I really enjoyed this post. It sounds like you're savoring the perfect things! I need to be more intentional about this in my own life I think.

Callie said...

You captured the struggle so perfectly in this post! I've often felt the same way.

Julie @ Just the Joy's said...

I feel like it took me until now (having kids) to realize that I need to savor life more. To set down the phone and enjoy the scenery or surroundings. My biggest challenge is that I want to capture everything with the kids on camera/video because the thought of not having it to look back on physically as well as mentally. The no sleep and the temper tantrum moments - those I can do without savoring ;)