This was one of those magical days. Straight from heaven.
Admittedly, a good part of the magic may be attributed to the fact that spring has finally arrived in my little corner of paradise. This morning, instead of stoking a fire, I opened a window. Instead of heading straight for a hot shower, I made a great big jug of sun tea.
But the day's magic is not only because of spring. Today, I decided to implement a few of the notes I have been taking from my own moms. My mother and mother-in-law take care of Cassie, my 17-month-old, when I'm feeling overwhelmed with my writing and editing work. Every once in a while, we pack up the car and travel to Grandma Land, where Cassie and her grandparents get some one-on-one time, and I get some solid time to work.
Cassie has an indelible bond with each of her grandparents, and each relationship is entirely unique. But, with both of her grandmothers, Cassie enjoys undivided attention. Her grandmas are paragons of patience. They let her call the shots. They listen to her and read to her and take her on long, meandering walks. There is a sense of gentle peace to these visits, and she responds in kind.
But things are different outside the enchanting kingdom of Grandma Land. In this world, there are deadlines, errands, bills, and more bills. But, I decided, just for today, we would do the best we could to enter this land on our own.
And so today has been all about Cassie. We begin with a nature hike. She spends the first five minutes (which, I'm sure I don't have to tell you, is a long span in toddler-time) at the base of our driveway, baffled by the burbles of a mountain stream. She laughs as her doggie splashes through the water, rolls through the mud, shakes, and starts again. As the forest awakens to summer, Cassie's mind awakens, for the first time, to the wonders of this natural world.
After our journey, we each settle into an over-sized Adirondack chair for a strawberry smoothie. Just for today, I give her a cup of her own (no toddler sippee-cups today) and a straw. We read Tog the Dog. She hears something off the porch. "Bird," she states with two short nods. She tips her cup too far and the strawberry juice rolls down her dingy white Tee, coming to a stop on her tiny toddler potbelly.
I remember how, all winter long, she would holler "bye-bye!" as she threw herself against the front door, which was always closed tightly against the howling winds. Just for today, the door stays open. She can come and go. There is a certain beauty in that, which isn't wasted on Cassie, who walks in and out a few times just to make sure it's really possible.
Just for today, I rock her to sleep outside, kissing her head and smelling the blend of sunscreen and my baby's signature earthy smell. The refreshing scent best described as a blend of fresh rainwater and Baby Magic bath soap.
A smear of mud stretches across her forehead from a run-in with the dog's Frisbee. The smear looked too cute to wipe off, and she didn't seem to mind. She is filthy but utterly content. Just for today.
Here's to living every day just for today.
Susie Michelle Cortright is the founder and publisher of Momscape, an online magazine devoted to nurturing the nurturers. Visit her at http://www.momscape.com, where you may read more inspiring articles and essays, subscribe to Momscape's email magazines, and register to win free pampering packages.