It had been a long day. Not necessarily a bad day, just a long one, particularly that period between nap and dinner when time stands still. In the “Before Times,” we could have filled that period with a jaunt to the zoo or the splash park or even the just the neighborhood playground to burn off some energy. But since none of those options were available, we were stuck at home, and I found myself getting more and more frustrated as I fell deeper into an unexplained funk.
Even though it was the weekend, my husband had a deadline at work and had disappeared into his home office. As I mentally counted down the minutes until bedtime, I added impatience and resentment at him for delaying the evening routine to my cocktail of bad feelings.
I recognized, even at the time, that I was the only one to blame for my mood. No one in my family was doing anything in particular to cause my annoyance, but in that moment, I was wallowing in a private pity party.
We did eventually get everyone to bed–later than I would have preferred, of course–and as we were cleaning up the kitchen, I expressed my woes to my husband. He listened as I whined, trying to figure out what in the heck was wrong with me.
Not having resolved anything, our conversation shifted to something new our infant had done that day. We were trying to remember if it was consistent to the timeline of our older children, so my husband pulled up a video on his phone to compare.
And that was it. Watching that video was exactly what I didn’t know I needed.
Honestly, it was the kind of video that would be considered boring to anyone (even grandparents), but it was truly a balm to my soul. Wiping tears from my eyes, I exclaimed to my husband, “Our babies are amazing and growing up too fast!”
I then realized that I had allowed myself to get so caught up in the daily minutiae of parenthood that I couldn’t see the forest for the trees. I was so concerned with managing all the things that I wasn’t taking the time to simply delight in my children.
We watched video after video before finally heading to bed ourselves–later than we would have preferred, of course–reveling in the joy that these tiny humans bring to us.
Who would have thought that something as simple as a 30-second video of a baby could shake off the sour mood I’d been nursing for hours?
I’m the (un)official family archivist–one of my favorite things to do–but how often do I go back and look at those pictures and videos after I’ve painstakingly organized them? The next time I fall into a funk, which is inevitable, I hope I remember to pause and just watch the videos.