Sitting stretched out on the couch wearing my jammies and new dog slippers (thanks, Elecia!); just brushed my teeth, and my mouth is feeling baking soda and peroxide fresh; the Illini basketball game and Eli's amusing commentary in the background. He's lying on the other couch eating a pear. How disgustingly healthy. I just downed about a half a bag of potato chips and three handfuls of M&M's, and Eli is eating a pear. Ugh.
Just having a relaxing Sunday evening after putting Eliot to bed. We shipped him off to Grandma and Grandpa's house on Friday night and he spent the weekend with them. We met for lunch today and brought him back home. I missed him SO much this weekend. It was great to have him back home. Just couldn't stop snuggling and hugging and kissing him. We all three went upstairs and made a game of rolling his fabric ball back and forth, which Eliot found hilarious. He giggled and giggled every time the ball landed in his lap.
We had a nice weekend—Friday night I had two of my sisters over to scrapbook and talk and drink hot chocolate, which was fabulous—such a stress relieving evening. Eli made supper for us (delicious Italian beef) and took care of Eliot. Then Saturday was Eli's turn—he had a friend over and they hit the local fishing shop and music store and then went to see Rambo (ew.). So we both had some quality downtime. It was nice to have a weekend spent relaxing, since it seems like most of our weekends are spent worrying about and dreading the always rapidly approaching Monday.
I should have done a lot more grading this weekend, but ah well. Such is life. I'm working on worrying less about what I OUGHT to be doing and just enjoying what I AM doing. Living a little more in the moment. This is part of what I love so much about Eliot. He totally lives in the moment because he doesn't know anything else. All of his feelings are so pure, so transparent. When happy, he radiates joy. When angry, he howls without self-consciousness. He simply is what he is, and he doesn't try to hide his feelings or censor himself in any way. I love experiencing the honesty of those emotions. Having him in my life really has made me more appreciative and mindful of the simple, everyday pleasures that I would normally take for granted. His delight is contagious. Seeing him made so happy at the rolling of a ball or the texture of Mumford's fur beneath his little fingers has led me to rediscover my own simple joys. Like the way the little couch is the perfect length for me to lean my back against one arm and stretch the flat of my feet against the other. The warmth of slippers and the slick feeling of my tongue against clean teeth. Flannel pajama pants. The soft glow of the stained glass sailboat nightlight that Grandaddy made. The soft sighing breaths of my son as he sleeps. The easy camaraderie of Eli and I as we sit together in the living room, lost in our own separate pursuits.
When I was younger, and I would struggle with homework, or learning a new dance step, or I was just frustrated at whatever, my mom would often say, "Rachel, you're making this harder than it has to be." I could never understand that. It always made me angrier to hear her say that. I'd say, "But, Mom! It IS hard. IT IS HARD!!!" I didn't get how my difficulties had anything to do with me. I always thought it was the thing itself. The thing. THIS THING IS FRUSTRATING ME BECAUSE IT IS DIFFICULT. And I would get disgusted at her, because it was so obvious to me that a certain math problem, for instance, must have a certain level of difficulty completely independent of me and my own thinking. It didn't matter how I approached the problem, because the problem was difficult in and of itself. So how could I possibly be "making it harder"? That OBVIOUSLY DOES NOT MAKE ANY SENSE, I would think, with total disdain.
But I finally think I understand what she meant. Life doesn't always have to be so complicated or so difficult. Sometimes it just is what it is. And right here, right now, what it is, is good.