Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Total Eclipse of the Fun

Normally, I relish all the time I have with my children and take advantage of every moment we can make a memory together when they are not in school, but since I am pregnant with baby #6, adjusting to a new town, and barely keeping up with my other five children, the event of the summer --the total solar eclipse--which some have called amazing, spectacular, awe-inspiring, and nature's once-in-a-lifetime show, only got a quick passing glance from us.

No, we didn't get special glasses to watch the eclipse.  I just barely managed to cut up cereal boxes to make eclipse viewers that morning.  And honestly, it was cloudy over us the whole time until right at the peak when the clouds broke a little bit and we got to see about five minutes of a moon-shaped shadow in our eclipse cereal box viewfinders.

Later that evening, I couldn't sleep.  I was thinking about our family's life together which looks nothing like it did a year ago and, I was thinking about the eclipse and feeling like a loser, because we had this "once in a lifetime" moment that we played really low-key.  Judging from the social media posts of friends, who traveled across country in some cases, to be in the direct line of the total eclipse, our experience might have left something to be desired.  Had I missed an opportunity here?  

I was slightly relieved earlier in the day to hear that there will be another total solar eclipse in less than seven years from now, and that our area will be in the path of the eclipse this time!  I was excited to hear this, because it meant that maybe we'd get a second chance to do this next eclipse up right!  Then I realized that seven years from now my three oldest children will be a senior, junior, and freshman in high school respectively. My two younger kids will be ages 10 and 8.  Would they even have an interest in sharing such an event with me at that point?  I felt like my family's little life together was flashing before my eyes, and I didn't like it, not at that pace, anyway!

Suddenly, I wasn't looking forward to the next eclipse of the sun at all, because it meant their childhood, and our time together, would be over!  Bummed all over again, my middle-of-the-night pregnancy thought process was getting me really depressed and distressed.

I thought about it more.  I thought about those pesky eclipse glasses that I failed to get, and how one could only really see the eclipse as the "once in a lifetime event" that it was if one was looking through the right lens.  

And then I realized: I don't have to wait 7 years for a special event, I have once in a lifetime events happening in my life every single day...if only I can learn to view these events through the proper lens: a lens of faith, a lens of eternity, a lens of being completely present in the now.

I immediately tried using that "lens,", starting with my 4-year old daughter climbing into bed with me the next morning.  Although, her wake-up calls usually come too early for my liking, I tried to relish it, and recognize it for the prize that it is.  You never know when a moment like that will occur for the last time.--or the first and the last time.  I tried to remember that through my fatigue when my other daughter came in after having a bad dream in the middle of the night.  I tried to appreciate and watch the next day as my toddler-aged son tried on everyone's shoes and scattered them to the four corners of the house--which is his favorite thing to do right now.  I tried to just slow down and enjoy these moments as the "once in a lifetime events" that they truly are for me.

So many times, the day-to-day happenings of Motherhood can become so happenstance.  They can seem so monotonous that we might mistake them for commonplace, when really they are our own personal once-in-a-lifetime moments.  And if we aren't looking, or aren't seeing them through an eternal lens, we might miss them entirely.

Now that I've got my eternal perspective, Motherhood lenses on again, I'm hoping to soak up as many of these moments with my children as I can in the coming weeks, months, and years, and to stop letting my pregnant state be a total eclipse of the fun that we have left together!


  1. you've been missed in the blog world. fun to hear your good news and see that you are still willing to share life's lessons with others. Motherhood and the empty nest isn't the end, then your little ones all grown will return with their babies for you to love and appreciate and so it goes on for eternity...

  2. Hi Jocelyn I really enjoyed this post! Such an important thing to remember. I think you should submit it to the Power of Moms blog, I think it would really resonate with their readers:

    1. Thanks for the suggestion...I might do that? I've never submitted for them before.