Monday, January 5, 2015

The Eye of the Storm

The Eye of the Storm: Noun: The calm region at the center of a storm or hurricane.

As a lifelong Southern California resident, I’ve been through plenty of earthquakes.  Big ones. Ones that have shaken me to the core and shattered my material possessions.  Yet, I’ve never experienced a hurricane or a tropical storm.  At least, not a real one.  I’ve seen them in movies.  And, sometimes, my kids are like little cyclones. 

They wake up like that. 

Within moments of their eyes opening, they are running around, wanting food, twirling, jumping on the bed (and on me).  Then, they are fighting over the pink ball, or the red cup, or who gets to use the honey first.  They chase each other.  They spin until they get dizzy. They create messes and destroy things in their path. 

They play in the dirt.  They run in circles.  They fall.  They get dirty.  They change their clothes.  They wash their hands.  Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

During weekdays, there might be struggles to get my daughter to brush her hair or my son to climb into his carseat.   

Everyday there are tears, disagreements, and battles.  

But everyday, there’s also that moment when everything is calm.  More than often, there’s a handful of those moments, sprinkled throughout the day.

It may be when my son falls asleep with his head nestled on my shoulder and I enjoy the calmness, his steady breath, and his heart beating against mine. 

It may be that moment when my kids collapse in a pile of laughter after playing. 

Or that moment when I find them snuggled up together reading a book. 

Or their thoughtful faces as they color or work hard at creating a masterpiece.

And sometimes, the eye of the storm seems to be miles wide. 

Like when my kids are splashing through the shallows at the beach and time stops.  The droplets of water seem to be suspended in the sunshine and their smiles make imprints on my soul. 

Or at family dinners when everyone says please, thank you, and we just talk. 

I have pictures of some of these moments, the quiet thoughtful ones.

I also have pictures of my kids crying, smiling, playing.  And when life seems crazy, I like to look at them and remember that it's all part of being a parent.   

All of it.  The chaos.  The sadness.  The frustration.  The fear.   

Joy.  Amazement.  Love.  Happiness.  

And, I remember: 

“There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm.” -Willa Cather

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