Wednesday, August 27, 2008

"Time Under The Trees" - an ode to slowing down

Enjoying the breeze, his blanket, the rustling leaves, and a chat with Mom. (He's telling me to lighten up.)

Today ended up being a great day...

After all the recent construction inside and around our house, a week of being gone on vacation, and trying to figure out how to integrate working from home and my responsibilities as a wife and mother, I was beginning to feel the water rising.  Then Robbie woke up uncharacteristically early at 4:30am this morning.  After pulling him into bed with me as a last-ditch effort to get a few more hours of sleep out of him before beginning the day, Rob and I discovered that after he fell back asleep, his breathing was rapid and shallow.  He would take 4 or 5 short gaspy breaths in and then let one back out.  He repeated this over the course of about 10 minutes, and we finally decided to wake him up and give him a bottle out of fear that he wasn't getting enough air.  We called our Pediatrician and I took him in for an impromptu checkup.  He is as healthy as can be (at, ahem, 19 lbs 2 oz! oh my goodness!), and the doctor wasn't concerned about the episode.  They sent me home with him saying that he's growing and happy and that I shouldn't worry, but to continue to monitor him closely and return if it happens again.  Ugh.  I hate that feeling as a mom (flashback to Robbie at 2 1/2 weeks... you get my drift).  You never know if something is 'something' or nothing.  I always err on taking him in and letting the doctor judge if it's 'something' or not!

Sometime just after lunch, I realized that (sadly) I had not really played with Robbie all day.  So I decided to close my laptop and turn off my cell phone.  We packed up and headed to the park for a quiet afternoon on the handmade blanket Grammy gave to Robbie before he was born.

I needed that time with Robbie as much as he needed it with me.  The last picture is actually my favorite one, even though you can't see our faces.  I was trying to get him to look up at the trees in the sky, which he loves to look at on our walks.  But he wouldn't look up - his eyes were locked on mine, and he was reaching over to me with both of his hands - intentionally these days! - and quietly talking to me.  I could almost understand the secret he was telling me... It is one of those moments I will never forget, it was so serene and innocent and pure and full of love.  

Life was as it should be on that blue blanket.

Like I said - today ended up being a great day.  I was reminded of the importance of slowing down and spending time.  I thought about people I know or strangers' situations I'm aware of that have great heartache, are experiencing loss, are in mourning, are missing someone they love, are wondering when the sun is going to shine for them again.   

I soaked in the time I had with Robbie in the shade of the trees by the elementary school I went to as a little kid.  The thought was never far from my mind that those tiny voices I could hear from the playground across the row of trees would one day include my son's voice, and that time under the trees with him might be harder to get as time passes.  I'm not sure how long we were there, but it could have been 20 minutes or 2 hours.  It doesn't really matter, because the sun seemed to stand still and let us have our afternoon without rushing us on.  

I'm so thankful for the time I have right now with the people I love most.  God has poured out His blessings on us this summer.


pat armbruster said...

Your words and pictures always bring tears....maybe its the music and how your experiences seem to be mine only a short time ago (like 28 years.) Having you
as a daughter is wonderful and my life is enriched by
watching your joy in Robbie's little life.


raymond said...

Wow Ashley -- I almost cried! How poetic! Thank you so much for sharing a piece of your heart with me. I always enjoy, and look forward to, reading the entries on this blog.

With love,