Wednesday, March 18, 2009

like ridin' a bike...only better.

i bought her stickers yesterday. i was turning the last corner in the grocery store with a cart piled in the most unorganized fashion possible with cereal boxes and tuna cans, and then eggs and bread on the bottom, of course. and i was tired and ready to go home, but i saw these sparkly stickers in the dollar bin on that last turn...and i knew they'd make her happy. so i added them to the cart and finished my shopping. and i was halfway through the parking lot before my excitement got the better of me...so i steered the cart with one hand while i tore the plastic off the stickers with the other so that by the time she was buckled in her carseat, her willowy legs were covered with sparkly stickers, and her spaced-out little teeth smiled in thanks.



and then for one split second, i did this thing i hate. i analyzed it...overthought it. am i spoiling her? am i teaching her that she gets something every time she goes to the store? do i buy her too much?

and then i smacked myself out of it...because there is nothing that sucks the joy out of motherhood--the inate ability to love and rear this child from the God-given instinct that dwells deep in my bones--than overthinking. overanalyzing. because in these (almost) two short years of blessed parenthood, i have gained this real, amazing confidence in just loving and mothering without thinking about it. it's like riding a bike. you don't read directions on it. you don't read a book about it. and when you hop on that bike, you don't recite left, right, pedal, balance, steer. you just do it. and the more you don't think about it, the better you are at it. and soon, you're ridin' fast...and with flair. like pastel handlebar streamers whippin' in the wind and spoke beads humming their rhythmic beat with each seamless rotation of the wheel.

i trust my instincts because they're good and hearty instincts. i will not worry about spoiling her because i know i won't. i'm not that mom. i am, however, the mom who is governed by passion. and love. and free-spiritedness and spontaneity. and the beautiful principle of....just be. i have no rules.



(oh, hello little magic dimple who came out to play!)





moms are frequently asked the old "what's your views on _______?" question. like nursing. and daycare. and discipline. and family bed.
and here's the thing. i don't have views on much other than what i do this very day with our little cubs. 'cuz i'm just ridin' my bike...and my hair's flowin' and the spoke beads are snappin' away, and if i stop for one minute to think about what i think (if that makes any sense...), i might fall off my bike.

and when i look back, i see this beautiful path we've pedaled through. and it's good. and seamless. and, miraculously, might i even say...consistent. and it happened on its own.







there will be times we realize there may have been a better way. and there will be times we don't buy the stickers...

...but yesterday...that little pack of stickers not only made an almost-two-year-old completely consumed with delight...but it made a mama insanely happy too. just pure satisfaction.





sure we want to give her the world...but it's not ours to give. so we will find bits and pieces of it to share with her. and we will do it spontaneously. passionately. and with flair.



loving her, leading her, teaching her...it's all so easy. and so much fun. and the more i don't think about it all...the more fabulous it becomes.



just be. and love. ...and...buy some stickers.

...enjoying the living-with-flair things. ~k

21 comments:

Barb said...

Yup. BE. Dont think so much. LOVE. BE. :)

Kelly said...

I couldn't agree more! That's one of the biggest surprises about motherhood!! I had so many specific opinions before I had Lily and now it's all out the window and love leads us!! It's a beautiful thing!

Tisha said...

keep on peddlin' and don't look back!

as for the stickers, my only thought is...where are the pictures of her covered in stickers? ;-)

i see a budding ballerina! just adorable.

Poppa said...

Love never spoils. Someday, it will break your heart when tiny things cannot thrill the heart...but for today, give the tiny some tiny treats and set her heart athrill. I remember, one Christmas between my little children and my little grandchildren, walking through the toy aisle and almost crying...because those things held no lustre for my wee ones...so I welcome it when I have a heart I can make so happy with so little. Oh, and I could eat those toes...I really could!

Kulio said...

oh my goodness, I cannot believe you just wrote about that. Just yesterday I had a similar doubting-myself-then-brushing-it-off-with-passionate-ease moment. Twin boy had a guitar lesson and he was sooooo tired beforehand. I gave him a talking-to about staying focused, not talking, not yawning during the lesson and giving it his all. He was SO good about listening to that, and as he started to leave the car I added suddenly, "And I will get you a treat afterwards." I don't know why I said it, but he literally skipped down the sidewalk to the lesson place.
After his lesson we held hands and walked down to the dollar store, and he didn't bug or ask me how much he could spend, or if he could have MORE or anything like that, he picked out some tiny, cheap army men and was happy as day. He said, "I was going to get candy, but then I thought I should get something that would last longer."
He was SO pitifully happy about those little army men that when I reached into my pocket for the money and found a Jolly Rancher and produced it to him it was like finding a treasure. A prize AND candy!
He was so happy with so little.
I think that kids should get prizes sometimes, just because. That's my "view". haha, for me of course. That's what works for me. I love your freedom from judgement - I know that when you say, "this is what's right for me", it really means that when you look at me, you have a huge umbrella of grace for all of my "ways" and that, my friend, is Love.

That's what I think.

Heidi Lee said...

I think "non-views" are the best.

YOU are the best!

The Manrings said...

i love this... i love stickers and picturing happy bike rides and lainey's tutu and her beautiful lashes. this was one of the surprises i found with motherhood too...all the planning and reading and researching sort of went out the door when you are following your heart and in the moment making it the best for your little lovey. you are a wonderful mommy and these pictures just capture what a wonderful job you are doing. xoxo

Lisa Y. said...

It's so hard to trust your heart sometimes. I'm glad you've learned to hear your instincts so quickly. It's taken me years...and still working on it...that and the not-doubting. I love your confidence!

The picture of her up-close-full-face-gorgeous-eyes!!! Oh my.

Anna Ruth said...

Your almost two year old loves you no matter what. So stickers or anything else do it. You need to spoil a little. LOVE the close up pictures.

Heidi said...

your words are captivating...truly captivating! i just love the way you use your words.

heres to just being...not over thinking...and being a better mother for it!

love the last pic, and those eyes are amazing:)

Steph C said...

So true! These are some fabulous pictures of her! I love all the close up it really shows her beauty off! Love them love her!

Beth said...

Great post Kelle......so true keep living the way you do it is precious an I love to look and read about it. Keep it up the awesome writing, capturing moments, and "being" a great mom!

dig this chick said...

awe. I am still at work but had to hop on and post a comment immediately.

I love your words. So real and true. Those who have time for exact opinions about shit aren't living much, I'd say.

And, Love's big eyes in those b&ws? dang.

xo to love and bean

Trailing Mira said...

such a nice post :) .. making me question a few things about myself and my approach too. Which is fine :)

amyc said...

by giving her some "things" and always giving her love, you will teach her to be giving....

Rachel said...

this is why my blog is called "in this moment"
: )

abbey bernardi said...

oh, i really love this post. i feel like i read it right when i needed to. honestly, i don't have any friends with kids so i really value your writings on motherhood. especially because i feel like it is hard to identify with a lot of Mom's. thanks for sharing and being such an inspiration. -Abbey

Gillian Kessler said...

i was just thinking the same thing about instinct and how real and dutiful it is. it is one of the only things you can actually count on when you have a little one. the bike analogy is super. keep on letting your hair flow in the wind, sister!

jweinzettl said...

Exquisite! I read your posts and its as if I'm writing it, only much more polished and eloquent! Rock on to you and your sticker buying self! I love everything about you and the amazing mother you are :)

teri the big red dog said...

lainey has a "sneaky toe" just like my little girl, tobin. it is the same one, too. that little middle piggy that sticks under her second toe and you have to hold-it-until-the-polish-dries when you paint the piggy toenails. we lovingly call it the sneaky toe! <3

Allison Thomas said...

Thank you for this post. I just read your book over the past weekend and laughed and cried and loved my own little girl more because of it. So I started reading your blog (and I'm someone who has to start at the beginning...) My 6-month-old is changing right now. Starting to sit up, starting to eat avocado and broccoli, and starting to KNOW what's happening around her more. I've been thinking about my pedals and brakes as I've been biking my "motherhood ride" lately, and I read this post at the exact right time. Soon my little Lark will wake up from her nap and I will just ride the bike with her :) Thanks again. I can't wait to catch up in your blog and "meet" your sweet little Nella!