Aunt Beth sent me this article from the Huffington Post. I hope I can carpe more kairos than chronos today, or maybe just one of each will be fine.
The scene described in Target hits a little close to home, so I got more stressed than relieved reading that. And women here most often shake their heads at me and say, "The days are long, but the years are short."
I'm in accord with this author that the sentiment is awesome and I want to BE an advice-giving Mommy someday at the top of the mountain. But her memories of parenting and my coffee-stained, sweaty armpit version of it are not in synch. And her comment is not helping me parent in the moment. There is no way to honor that disconnect without coming across as an angry, ungrateful Mommy. So I smile and wonder why this lady full of advice and encouragement won't just physically help me.
I love my job and I love my life. I have not always been able to say that so I type those words carefully and with gratitude.
And I thank this author for giving voice to the hard part in some of our days and for reminding us to view time and the experience of time differently.
My favorite part of the article was this:
There are two different types of time. Chronos time is what we live in. It's regular time, it's one minute at a time, it's staring down the clock till bedtime time, it's ten excruciating minutes in the Target line time, it's four screaming minutes in time out time, it's two hours till daddy gets home time. Chronos is the hard, slow passing time we parents often live in.
Then there's Kairos time. Kairos is God's time. It's time outside of time. It's metaphysical time. It's those magical moments in which time stands still. I have a few of those moments each day. And I cherish them.
Like when I actually stop what I'm doing and really look at Tish. I notice how perfectly smooth and brownish her skin is. I notice the perfect curves of her teeny elf mouth and her asianish brown eyes, and I breathe in her soft Tishy smell. In these moments, I see that her mouth is moving but I can't hear her because all I can think is -- This is the first time I've really seen Tish all day, and my God -- she is sobeautiful. Kairos.
Like when I'm stuck in chronos time in the grocery line and I'm haggard and annoyed and angry at the slow check-out clerk. And then I look at my cart and I'm transported out of chronos. And suddenly I notice the piles and piles of healthy food I'll feed my children to grow their bodies and minds and I remember that most of the world's mamas would kill for this opportunity. This chance to stand in a grocery line with enough money to pay. And I just stare at my cart. At the abundance. The bounty. Thank you, God. Kairos.
Or when I curl up in my cozy bed with Theo asleep at my feet and Craig asleep by my side and I listen to them both breathing. And for a moment, I think- how did a girl like me get so lucky? To go to bed each night surrounded by this breath, this love, this peace, this warmth? Kairos.
These kairos moments leave as fast as they come- but I mark them. I say the word kairos in my head each time I leave chronos. And at the end of the day, I don't remember exactly what my kairos moments were, but I remember I had them. And that makes the pain of the daily parenting climb worth it.
If I had a couple Kairos moments during the day, I call it a success.