Wrangler Dani

Writer, editor, marketer and communication strategist. I'm also a wife, mama, hiker, cowgirl and experimental cook living in beautiful Central Oregon.
February 9th, 2016 by Dani

Little life, big life

Everyone pre-kids is annoyed by other people’s kids. They’re clogging up Facebook with endless photos of stocking feet and chocolate grins, and our friends who used to talk to us about books and adventures and movies and politics now just tell us about the latest thing their cherub said, how he is sleeping/eating/pooping these days and what it’s like to not sleep. Trust me, I know.

I have swung wildly between yearning to be included in the parent conversations of my friends and then aching to talk about anything but kids and babies. Now, as a parent myself, I wonder: how do I include my childless friends in my now very child-filled life? What can I do to think of things that inspire me and move me, other than the wild adventure of motherhood?

Addy in Target

Here’s what I decided yesterday as I strolled through Target, unbelievably tickled with myself for trusting Adelay in the shopping cart seat and rediscovering the joy of walking without 21 lbs of wiggly kid on my chest. I decided that I will be delighted and grateful for every small moment – like walking through Target with my girl in the shopping cart seat – but I will never forget that while life is made up of small victories and little joys, that is not all life is.

I think we find ourselves in an abyss of chit-chat and thoughtlessness when we let ourselves believe that life’s little things are the only things. Somewhere along the way we realize that we wasted our years in idle gossip or mindless phone games, and that we are actually very lonely, bored and unfulfilled. Because while the friendly chat with a neighbor or the innocent grin of a child is truly lovely, we can get lost in those little moments and miss the big ones – we can miss the “why am I here” conversation, or the quiet meditation in our own hearts that leads us to new things. By focusing on the daily requirements of work, groceries, diapers, sleep, we can miss the larger requirement – that we allow our hearts to be fully alive. We have to dare to be creative – to take the long way home or read a challenging book or try a new recipe or brainstorm a new project. We have to dare to dream of five years from now, and let others in on those dreams. Of course, this is not limited to parenthood – surely non-parents also can coast through their days – but for me, I feel the war of stagnation and purpose in a way I haven’t before.

I do not like writing about this. I don’t like admitting that maybe I’ve been obtuse, that perhaps I’ve let a little laziness creep in to my thought life or heart life. So today I will be renewed by every grin from my beautiful girl. I will embrace the moment, be grateful for the home we’ve made and the life we have. But I will also let my mind wander. I will consider my dreams, and how I can make them real. I will talk to my friends and family about more than parenthood, and therefore showing Adelay how to dream as well.

Today I am relishing my small victories and little joys. Today I am dreaming big dreams and daring to embrace new adventures. I don’t want to look up in a few years and wish I’d thought ahead or explored life more fully. Today is big and little, dream and mundane, hope and peace.


One Response to “Little life, big life”
  1. Your writing is lovely, Dani! I’m so happy to have you as a part of the writing group, and even though I’m childless, I’m excited to read more about your transition into mommy-hood 🙂

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