Huffpost Parents
THE BLOG

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Janelle Capra Headshot

My Toddler Taught Me How to Be Still

Posted: Updated:
JANELLE CAPRA
Janelle Capra

There we sat in our courtyard on a lovely Sunday afternoon. It was 3:30 p.m., a time years ago that I would get anxious thinking about how the weekend was "almost over" and my mind would start racing to what I needed to do at work on Monday. But today, my toddler and I just sat together blowing bubbles. I love how much he loves bubbles. All my babies loved bubbles. I mean, really, who doesn't love bubbles? The simplicity, the ease, the fun and if they spill, the easy cleanup! Yes, bubble time is so fun, especially when you can experience it through the eyes of a child. "Buhbows," my sweet baby boy would say as I tried to reach for my iPhone. "Ma ma, buhbows!" So I put my phone down, took out my bubble wand and blew bubbles. We sat there blowing bubbles, watching them float up and pop. Again, I reached for my phone when I heard a text come through and my baby boy reached over with his chubby little arm and stopped me gently with a smile and then repeated to me (since I obviously didn't get it the first time), "Ma Ma, buhbows." Wow, how is it that a toddler who is known for being all over the place was so happy to be still and in the moment? I couldn't help but watch him enjoy the moment and watch him enjoy me actually being in the moment with him. Bubbles, I thought to myself. I can do this. Just sit and blow bubbles with my baby. It was so sweet.

Thank you, baby. Mommy is here and enjoying this moment.

Again, he taught me to be still while we were out shopping the outlets on the central coast over spring break. There we were, our "party of five" out doing something together and I found myself once again trying to get to the next thing on our list. Really, who has a "to-do" list on vacation? But, there I was trying to hurry up the shopping excursion so that we could grab lunch, meet at the park and hop on the road in time for his nap (yes, a perfect plan!). But, my now-2-year-old wanted to sit on a car that didn't even work despite my effort of dropping $1.50 of quarters in the little box. He was so happy just sitting there that of course I had to reach for my iPhone to take a picture. And, just as I tried to sweep him up to keep moving he reminded me to enjoy the moment, this very moment in time. After all, it was his birthday and why wouldn't I grant him his birthday wish to just sit there on the non-moving car and enjoy his moment?

Thank you baby. Mommy is here and really enjoying this moment.

Being still takes practice. I have been a long-time, forever fan and wannabe yogi since the birth of my first child. I've found through the years that yoga is truly the only exercise that I can do where my mind doesn't wander. It's been a great form of stress release and I find myself always in "my happy place" when my feet touch my mat. I have tried the same at home, even meditation, and I can't seem to lose myself in the practice as I do when I go to a studio. I recently signed up for Living Fearless and couldn't make it through the first meditation without my mind wandering to my "to-do" list and my body responding anxiously the same. And, even though I have missed a full week of the online meditation course, I am committing to finishing what I've started. It's not easy. It does take practice and practice and practice. I guess "being still and in the moment" takes practice too. So instead of beating myself up about it, I am going to practice what my toddler taught me. I just need to do it until it becomes as natural as it was for us that day blowing bubbles. And you know what? When I finally took a moment to sit back and look around on that lovely Sunday afternoon, I saw beautiful flowers that were blooming all around us and the most breath-taking sky with large, fluffy, heavenly clouds that I have ever seen. I would've missed this beautiful moment, I thought.

Thank you baby. Mommy is here and learning to love this moment.