Though I didn’t make any resolutions for 2012, I am trying harder to stay in the present. When I keep my mind and body in the same place, I have much more peace and gratitude in my life. I want more of both.
So, being in the moment right now means watching my son eat. Last week at his six month appointment, Dr. Devon said he could try all kinds of new food—yogurt, cottage cheese, fruits, veggies, and Cheerios. I strolled him from the pediatrician’s to the grocery store, eager to see Daniel’s reaction to these new things. Most new foods cause some skepticism from him. He’ll take a spoonful of whatever I offer, but he eyes me warily, while he decides if he likes it. After this initial tasting, everything so far had been greeted with a wide open mouth, and gobbled down.
But the first time I tried to feed him a Cheerio, his mouth clamped shut and he looked at me as if I was crazy. I ate a few myself, with enthusiasm, but he wasn’t buying what I was selling. The next day, after warming him up with some familiar oatmeal and applesauce, I offered the Cheerio again. He opened his mouth, ever so slightly, eyeing me the whole time. I placed the oat gently in his mouth, like giving someone communion. He moved his tongue around a little, then spat the offender out. Not interested.
By yesterday, he was loving them. Opening up his mouth eagerly, smacking his lips together as he chewed with his gums, kicking his legs, smiling. I decided I could watch him eat Cheerios all day, so sweet is his contentment. As a bonus, because they take him so long to eat, they buy me extra time to actually finish my meal, have some coffee, write in my journal. But the apex of the week was when he grasped a Cheerio in his little paw, and shoved it into his own mouth, pleased with himself as could be.
It might not sound like much, but watching my son go from unwilling to try something new, to mastering a new skill, well, it’s like watching a miracle. Though perhaps the real miracle is having the time, patience and attention to see it happening and appreciate it. These are the gifts of staying in the present. People keep telling me I’m going to blink and he’ll be thirty. Eek. I’m sure very soon he’ll be pushing his plate away, telling me he hates my cooking. But all I have is the present moment, when he kicks his feet and beams at me. I’ll take it.