When we came home to a power cut last week, aside from being thankful that the spare room was organised enough to lay hands on candles hassle free, I was thankful for a few hours of guilt free snuggling with my boy. For the first time in weeks, there were no distractions, no pulls on my time. We read books, sang songs, Pat-a-Caked our way through many a rhyme and finally, I fed him to sleep. In that moment, when no sounds interrupted the lull of his breathing, glugging sounds, when every fluffy whisp of his ever-growing hair showed clearly in the glow of the candles and I focused on every inch of the chubby fingers holding my hand, I realise that the blessings of the internet and the modern world come nowhere near comparison to being trapped right in the now.
M turns nine months this week. As I fed him, that power cut day, I was struck by how fragile is the passing of time and how much we just take now for granted. At nine months old, he is standing alone, chattering all the day and eats more at mealtimes than me. He’s growing up from my baby into a boy and I’m suddenly struck by realisation that he could choose to wean anyday. The thought stabs my heart – I would so miss the cheeky grins he gives attempting to drink and to chat, the taste of the fingers he gives me to eat as he chows down with his milk and the softness of his skin mingled with that perfect smell of babyness and his breathe upon my neck.
Now M’s crawling so speedily and trying every waking minute to stand, it’s more and more difficult to snatch time for myself. There is always something that needs doing and if I’m not doing something I know that I should be. Reading other blogs by Mums who stay home with immaculate houses, homecooked foods on the table, pantries full of baked goods always boggles my mind; especially those who also find time to craft, exercise and read. It’s incomprehensible..grabbing the time to write this post will take most of my day! As time seems in such short supply nowadays, it’s all too easy to sometimes see those breastfeeding breaks as a way of grabbing time out for me, to make a cup of tea and log into the twittersphere for a while, but post power cut I’m trying not to. Having an evening of enforced nothingness, I realised everything really can wait and what’s important is already right here. Instead of reaching for a smart phone, I reach for a book, or if M’s not in wriggle-aerobic-nursing mode, the knitting. I engage with M reading aloud from my book, or counting stitches or eating his fingers. Internet-time checks me out from the now, these things check me into the here. There’s plenty to be said for checking out now and then, it’s part of what keeps us all sane, but I know that on that day M does wean, the feeds that I’ll want to rememeber won’t be those defined now by tweets or the neatness of the house, but those lost in the moment, he and I.
Power cuts still suck, mind.
“And it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know.” (2:216)