Madeleine Walburger is a native of Newport Beach, CA who, to her amazement, is rearing her own family there. Madeleine graduated from Stanford University, having studied Public Policy and Economics. She currently works part-time from home as a health care consultant, servicing the pharmaceutical industry. Madeleine enjoys running, finding/creating solutions and impromptu dance parties with her kids and husband of 10 years. Her most recent realization: she is a better person and mother when she is outside enjoying our outdoor world.
I am not a writer, though I do love to write. I am not trained in the art of putting words together in a coherent and pleasing manner, but I do like to capture moments and preserve them in word.
In my present season of life, I write to help me remember. I am 99% stay-at-home mother who gets to spend 99% of her day with four fantastic kids, ages 19 months to 8 years old. By writing down the little, meaningful interactions that are not accompanied by fireworks, I am attempting to bottle up the moment and preserve it for another day. Life races ahead at a breakneck speed with my children running even faster. I write to pause, and to try to prevent this fleeting phase from becoming a colorful blur bookended by my youth and empty-nesting.
Tomorrow, when many of the endeavors in which I am now fully engaged are complete and the outcomes realized, I hope to read my words and enjoy remembering the in-the-trenches process.
I write to remember, and in that remembering I accomplish three additional purposes:
1. By recording a history for my children, I provided a personal context for them, a background to better understanding themselves. And, maybe they, too, will chuckle as they remember and reminisce.
2. I write to relax.
3. I gain confidence in my choices when I record them. There is power in translating actions into lasting language.
Perhaps someday I will be an “official” writer (I do dare to dream), but today I just want to remember. Here are two moments worth remembering.
I Looww-ii Uuuh
Chase, two years old, gets out of bed. Again.
But he is far too cute this evening for the appropriate reprimand.
Instead, I stomp after him, much like a Mom-sized dinosaur might, and put on my most teasingly menacing face as I tear after him. Never quite catching him until we are steps away from his bed, I scoop him up by his legs and swing him sideways onto the mattress, perfectly navigating the narrow gap of his lower bunk.
Chase begins to belly laugh. Again.
To top off my victorious capture and toss, I flop right on top of him making a lop-sided X with our bodies. Wrapping my arms around his little man shoulders, I nudge my nose into his cheek.
Guess what Chasers. I. Love. You.
Chase wraps his arms around my neck, squeezing my ears with his little reach.
“I looow-ii. Uuuuh.”
Eager to keep the moment, I say again: I love you Chase.
Big smile. “Go way Mom.”
It's time for the big boy to go to bed.
Three tucked-in, not yet asleep. One to go.
The little one.
The nursery room is dark with only a sliver of light from the door and a gentle glow from the street light outside. I stand-up from the glider, holding Eliza in my arms. Snuggled in her pink softy blanket, I put her up on my shoulder. She nuzzles in.
Her head tucks right under my chin. I love that.
I start to hum. When Anna was an infant, my now 5-year old, I made up a simple tune that I hummed and sung to her while loving her to bed. It really is something that only Anna, Chase, and now Eliza would know and recognize. No one else has ever heard it, and I anticipate it will be a memory tied only to their youngest season. It has been years since I last sang Anna to bed; and so I don't know if she remembers her melody.
I hum. “I love you, Oh…”
Eliza's tucked-in head pops up. She shares her gaping, gummy smile with me, a smile that emerged while her head was still nestled in her blanket. The pacifier falls out of the happy grin.
My baby knows her melody.
She tucks her head back down onto my shoulder. Her head snugs in right under my chin. I love that. I rub her head and cheeks with my own cheeks, jaw, lips, as I continue to softly hum and sing.
Eliza's body begins to gently rumble. She is humming in her baby-coo sort of way. And so we hum together in the quiet room with only a sliver of light.
She re-adjusts her head on her pink softy. She adjusts one more time. My baby hums and then just listens. Eliza looks to her crib. It's time for bed.
Goodnight my love. I love you.
Emotions, relationships, experiences are not static but in never-ceasing evolution. Because the ‘now' is only temporary, I write to pause, to reflect, and to remember.
- Do you have a favorite method of ‘capturing the moment'?
- Do you have a skill that you use both professionally and personally?
- How do you clear time and space to capture moments and use your own talents and skills for yourself?