Waiting for Life to Happen


We slipped casually into autumn. One day suggestions of fall were muttered under the warm breath of summer, crisp and chilly morning air and slanty orange afternoon light – the next day I blinked my eyes and the mountainsides turned rusty, the maple outside of my dining room reaching its orange-tipped arms toward the windows. The trees groan in acknowledgement of the impending winter, shimmying and shaking what’s left until October strips them bare.

witchs butter

As a mom, life often feels like a waiting game. Driving home after picking up my toddler from daycare, I come upon a young man, tired but resigned, holding a stop sign for the repaving on our road. The gatekeeper. He spits, takes a long drag off of a short cigarette wedged between a dirty thumb and forefinger, the wind kicks up a swirling cloud of gritty dust.  I’m annoyed that I’m waiting, I’m annoyed that in five more minutes down the road I’ll be waiting again, another disgruntled person holding a stop sign, sipping on an old coffee, staring off into the distance. Or waiting in a parking lot for the baby to finish nursing, watching the un-orchestrated dance of the cars– coming, going, parking, pulling out. Waiting for my toddler to go to bed at night – lying in his dark room, my brain already three steps ahead, waiting to untwist his limbs from my body, waiting to close the door on the day.

But isn’t this the stuff of life? Isn’t life about the journey? It’s about fully feeling the energy reverberating throughout your body from the sound of perfect, harmonized notes, the pure awe and awareness of a newborn’s gaze, the delicate, powdery wings of a moth perched on a windowsill. Life is about calling a friend just to hear about her day. It’s about looking up from nursing in a parking lot just in time to see a little red balloon escaping into a blue horizon.


As a mom of young children, it’s so easy to get sucked into the current of life – one foot in front of another, one day in front of another, and before you know it you’re swept out to sea, tumbled by the waves, just waiting and waiting for life to happen. One day my toddler will be a teenager, one day he’ll be a man and I’ll wish for just one more moment of his little body, long legs, wispy hair sitting in my lap while we build block towers. Or one more moment of my baby, floppy body draped across my chest in slumber, dreaming of nursing, little night time smiles gracing his chubby cheeks. If I let these moments slip by without allowing myself to fully experience them, if I consider myself to be waiting rather than living, then I’m letting life pass me by.



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