… the moments that make us hold our breath.
… the moments that take our breath away.
… the moments that we need to be reminded to just breathe.
For the hopeful parents holding their breath waiting for the test results to the anxious parents in the delivery room a simple breath holds all the tension. They are the two greatest moments in becoming parents, after all. It is the moment you find out you’re going to be parents. It is the moment it all becomes real. There is one more person in this world and in that moment all it knows is you. In that moment you know that all of its needs are your responsibility. We hold our breath in hopes that we ascend to become the parents we hope we can be. We hold our breath as we watch our little one come into the world. We hold our breath hoping the doctors tell us we have healthy newborn.
Our breath breaks the tension all the waiting created. It is the first step in accepting our new role. In later years we’ll hold our breath again when our little ones are learning walk. Will they take their first step by themselves? Will they get back up if the fail the first time? We’ll hold our breath again while we wait to see if they’re okay after a fall. We’ll hold our breath again and again as they grow older. Fortunately, these moments are spaced far enough apart so we don’t die of asphyxiation.
There will also be moments that take our breath away. The sweetest actions by our little people can stop time. Whether they make us an “I love you” card, share something that means the world to them with us, or brags about us to others, these are the sweetest moments. Sweet like the art they made just for us. Sweet like peanut butter kisses softly planted on our cheek. Sweet like an older sibling protecting a younger one. They are moments that will most definitely bring a smile to our face. They may even bring a tear to our eye. A moment that takes our breath away will become etched in our memory and be a part of a story will tell and retell a hundred million times.
Then come the moments when we have to remember to just breathe. Those trying moments from the ones who also make us hold our breath and take our breath away. What did they break this time? What are they screaming about now? Why do they insist on trying to argue with me? Sending kids to a time out is most often for their benefit. It removes them from the situation. It allows us a minute to breathe, to count to 10, and hopefully not overreact. It’s as much a time out for us as it for them. A deep, calming breath can help us summon the patience we need to survive our children.
From the moments that make us hold our breath to the moments that take our breath away to the moment when we just need to breathe, parenthood is full of joys and scares and frustrations. The best we can do is catch our breath, hold it, and release it. One day they will be grown and we’ll be out of moments.