Mama, after we go to the pumpkin patch then what are we doing?

I haven’t even had my first cup of coffee. But, I get it. My daughter’s 11 and curious about how the day is going to unfold. She opens her eyes and wants to know what’s coming next. Hell, I’m in my 40’s and want to know the same thing.

The truth is, I don’t know.  I spent my life trying to see what was around the bend. What the plan was. What I could expect to happen.

I never could. I just had to get to the bend, go through the bend, be on the other side of the bend and look back and say, huh, what’dya know.

Learning to live in the moment has taken enormous practice for me. It’s not something that comes naturally. Living in the future and the past — well, that’s a breeze. And an awful way of existing. The older I get the more I enjoy not knowing what the plan is.  The day can be filled with disappointment but often it is filled with surprises and gifts far greater than I would have ever planned for myself.

So, I’m wanting to teach this to my daughter now. While she’s young. While her mind is open and her spirit free. If I can save her the struggle that comes with trying to control a day and instead help her experience the peace that comes from being present for the day… that would be amazing.

Baby, let’s live in the moment. Let’s just be in that pumpkin patch. Let’s not worry where we’re going next, what time we’re getting home, what we think we might have for dinner. Let’s simply be.

And that’s what we did. We drove to a farm, we ate caramel apples, we got lost in a corn maze, we rode a horse and buggy, we listened to music, we pet a Llama, we picked pumpkins and we held hands.

As we drove home, listening to the radio, windows rolled down, eating roasted pumpkin seeds we made the night before I quitely asked,

What do you want to do when we get home?

She stuck her head out the window, her eyes closed as the warm wind whipped her face and smiled,

I don’t know….  let’s just see.

Sounds perfect. When I got home to sit to write this column I didn’t know what I was going to write. I usually never do. My daughter came in,

What’s your column about, mama?

Living in the moment.

There was a pause, then,

What are you going to write about next week?

Okay, baby steps, right? Like I said, it takes practice. But for today… we were in the day. And that works for me.

(this column was originally posted October 2013)