‘Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.’ Weil
Friday was busy…. I had taken the day off of work, my car was packed to the hilt with boxes, and I was juggling all the things that anyone in the throes of moving does. There were furniture deliveries scheduled, repairmen on their way, as well as one of those ‘four hour middle of the day windows’ that the all-important cable and internet installer had given us. My plan was to park my body at our new house and await all of this.
But then I got a phone call from my baby girl (yes, she is 22 years old, but she is still my baby girl.) ‘Momma, I’m all done decorating my new apartment! Can you come by and see it today?’
I never even hesitated. Yes, I could come and see it…
Moving or not, time is a commodity that is always at a premium in my life. I rarely have a day off from the bustle, and I really can’t even remember the last time I felt like I had ‘nothing to do.’ This is not a complaint, just a reality. On most days, my schedule is booked with clients who are depending on me, and my commitment to them is the foundation of their trust in me. I take this to heart, and most workdays allow for not much wiggle room at all.
Friday was not one of those days. I had a packed schedule sure, but let’s face it, if our washer and dryer did not get delivered on time, it was not the end of the world. If I missed the cable guy, he could come another day. My daughter’s new life in an apartment that she has spent weeks decorating ‘ just so’… may not be a hugely important event in the big picture, but it is still a once in a lifetime moment. Sometimes I think we all forget how many of life’s moments, as minute as they may seem, once gone will never come around again. I have become acutely sensitive to this truth through years of working with bereaved parents… who are left with memories but no more moments. Witnessing their anguish, has left me hoarding moments whenever and wherever I can…
Harvesting life’s small moments comes down to one thing- generosity of time. In my life, my own parents have set an example in this regard, that I will probably never be able to emulate. When I became a first time mom, they became first time grandparents, and they have been as generous with their time to my own children, as they were to me in my childhood. If I were to tally up the number of games, skits, birthday parties, talent shows, school events, recitals, or awards ceremonies they have attended on mine and my children’s behalf I bet the number would shock us all.
As both parents and Grandparents, they always made showing up look easy; so easy in fact, that I am not sure I ever really appreciated the fact that they had to juggle their lives behind the scenes to make it happen. If I didn’t see it then, I certainly see it now, and appreciate it more than I could ever express to them.
So yesterday when my daughter said ‘Momma, can you?’ I did that same kind of stealth juggling… and found a way to show up. I brought over Starbucks and she showed me her beautiful apartment. Seeing her young adult self emerge in the domestic abode she has so carefully created made me every bit as happy as the beautiful new home that is emerging in my own life. I was struck at how awesome it was for us both to be engaging in the same life step at the same time- a wink from the universe that did not go unnoticed. We ended our visit with a requisite selfie to mark the day in our memory, and I walked out of her home with my heart full and time to spare before the first delivery van of the day rolled up to our curb.