This is a very hard blog for me to write, as you will understand. I had a scary reminder of why it is so important to make the most of the ‘here’. Ludo, Annie and I attended Hillsong Conference last week. It was an incredible experience but, for a two year old (and a nearly thirty year old!) it was very tiring. By the end of the Thursday both Annie and I were so tired that we went back to the hotel during the dinner break for a nap. We all decided that, rather than going to the evening session, just Ludo would go and I would stay and rest with Annie.
It was an unhurried evening, with no chores to do, my emails switched off and absolutely no pressure. There was no set bed time for Annie and we were free to do as we pleased. Still, even in that environment, it is tough for me to focus entirely and give my undivided attention. But that is what I endeavoured to do and I think I was pretty successful!
There was a pool in the hotel we were staying at, so Annie and I decided after our nap that we would take a swim. We were the ONLY two in the pool and it was the perfect environment to chill out, experiment with our jumping, swimming under water and technique. Annie told me all about her day because I wasn’t probing and we were both speaking tender, kind and edifying words. We had a great time and decided after over an hour to get out, go get ready and grab some food. We took a shower in our room, Annie put her PJs on and we both went to the restaurant for dinner where we shared spaghetti bolognese. We chatted, were chilled out and Annie told me numerous times that she liked me, I was fun, she loved me and I was beautiful. After dinner we pottered back to our room and, whilst reading Winnie the Pooh in bed, I offered to paint her toe nails (I had packed her nail varnish just in case). Once they were finished I noticed she was hiding one of her hands from me. I asked if she had smudged them and a look of apprehension mixed with sadness came across her face. I recalled, in horror, an incident a few months back when I had hastily painted her toe nails and then raised my voice when she smudged them, removed her nail varnish and hadn’t re painted them as I didn’t have the time. My precious, beautiful, two year old was recalling an incident where I was too busy to enjoy the ‘here’ and the ‘there’ which is the now was suffering because of it. My hasty words and unfocused actions had caused a scar that I would have to work hard to undo. I asked her if that is what she was remembering, told her that I was sorry and asked for her forgiveness. I told her that I was trying really hard to not be rushed any longer and to enjoy all of our time together. I reapplied her toe nail varnish and painted her finger nails (which I rarely allow her to do) and then we snuggled to read more of her Winnie the Pooh book. Annie then told me her own story of Winnie the Pooh where Piglet’s mummy painted his nails and Piglet and his mummy went swimming, had dinner and snuggled up ‘snuffly’.
The look of anxiety on Annie’s face will stay with me for all of my days and will encourage me to make the most of every moment of ‘now’, however small or larger, wherever I am or what I am doing so as I don’t cause any hurt to anybody I meet by being too hurried on unfocused.