Some time back, Noah learnt to express his delight or amusement with a spontaneous exclamation of “Oh WoW!”. This was a phrase I’ve used often with him, to direct his attention towards the beauty of God’s creation, or just something that we stopped to appreciate on our many meandering walks around the neighbourhood.
Children see wonder in the most ordinary things – a dry twig which can be used to poke holes into the ground, or a straw that fits perfectly into the lid of a plastic disposable cup. I am thankful that my little boy is able to express that wonder verbally, as his little exclamations often alert me to take delight in the many ordinary moments together with him that would otherwise pass me by.
It’s been about three months of working part time. Honestly, it hasn’t been easy juggling my expectations of myself based on my pre-baby work ethic. It’s been quite a number of times now that it slipped my mind to do certain tasks, or that I’ve had to thank colleagues for going the extra mile for me. The other day, when a colleague (that’s you, M!) pointed out what a great job I’d done previously with some admin that had been part of my previous job scope, I couldn’t help exclaim that that was something that only my former self could have done. I can’t imagine having the time to spend getting the task done exactly right in my current position. It seems that I only have bandwidth for the big picture stuff right now, and everything else just gets done when I get round to it, if at all.
So sometimes I wonder whether it’s worth spending less time at work, and more time at home. My philosophy with Noah is to savor the moments. So, we don’t rush. If he is taking his time to look at a leaf and examine something in the soil, I’m that silly-looking Mama sitting patiently on the pavement waiting for him. Bath times are times to connect and explore how water moves and feels, so after he’s clean, we have a little time for him to simply pour water from here to there, try making bubbles, or watch them wash away down the drain when we’re done. Meal times can be stressful, but when I’m able, I try to let him feed himself, and hold my breath as all the rice goes flying onto his lap as he tilts the spoon just as it’s about to reach his mouth for the umpteenth time. I declared to Galvin recently that watching Noah at meal times is just about the best illustration you can get of the literacy concept of SUSPENSE. Sometimes the food makes it in, sometimes it doesn’t. But boy, is that megawatt grin you get from the satisfied little boy worth it, when he succeeds.
I’m still hoping to spend a little more time connecting with Galvin, and can probably do more to be more attentive to work tasks once my office email is accessible from home (yes, it’s been three months and the IT issues still aren’t resolved …).
BUT on the whole, I am really loving this new life style. We certainly don’t miss the difference in wages, though it’s been more than once that I’ve walked past a fancy clothes store or premium bag outlet, and mentally acknowledged that that’s something that’s not regularly within my reach. My friends discuss nice restaurants that I sometimes have never even heard of, but that’s alright with me.
I still wonder if these parenting and lifestyle choices are going to prevent Noah from acquiring useful knowledge of the world (i.e. will he be doomed to being as unworldly-wise as his parents?!), but I can only hope that choosing to focus on what matters most for now will open doors rather than shut them in terms of his future.
Yes, and I guess what matters most for now, is to see how many Oh Wowws! we can chalk up within a day, the week, and in all the many hours we have to spend together.