Saturday, January 21, 2012
Chronos vs. Kairos
Have you come across fellow mom blogger, Glennon Melton's recent blog post, 'Don't Carpe Diem.' It's a must-read. Her honest portrayal of motherhood is realistic and so relatable. I love her contrasts and polar opposite views of motherhood, because in all reality, motherhood is full of them. Like one minute, you feel like superwoman mom-of-the-year, powerfully able to balance work and home, groceries and grading, bills and play, love and discipline, Green Eggs and Ham and The Grapes of Wrath all in a pair of high heels and a perfect hair day. And the very next minute, well, you're an utter wreck. Like tonight, when I bent over to grab the umpteenth piece of food Cruz deliberately threw on the floor, just in time for him to smear a half of banana in my hair. Or finally deciding to clean the cat's litter box after the twelfth or so day, only to realize the little helper beside me just got his first taste of litter. Or the fact that when we finally sat down at 7:00 to eat our five-minute tacos after one of the busiest days ever, I realized I hadn't peed since 7:00 this morning.
This is what Glennon Melton refers to as brutiful. A mixture of beautiful moments and brutal moments. Moments when you feel as though you could literally explode from happiness, and moments when you can't wait for your child to fall asleep so you can sit on the couch and watch a half hour of Steven Tyler on American Idol---in peace. For the most part, I choose to use this blog to record the beauty of it all - the moments I embrace and hope to write down in order to remember it all. But every now and then, it feels pretty good to write about the mess. The mess that has to be part of it all in order for us to really appreciate the rainbows.
Today, thanks to Glennon Melton, I learned that life runs in two different time zones. The Chronos and Kairos. Chronos is the real time of life, the time parents often live in. The time when you're on your hands and knees scrubbing sticky, dried-up juice off the kitchen floor, or wiping the lick marks off the dishwasher, or stepping on a toy pirate ship in the shower at 5:30 in the morning. It's the 22 minutes you sit in agony listening to your overly tired child cry in his crib, and the 12 minutes it took to mow down the Quarter Pounder with Cheese meal you grabbed at McDonalds (and the guilt you felt afterwards). It's the raw, real, not-so-rare time that leaves you feeling panicky when someone stops you in the line at Target and says, 'enjoy every single minute.' Because in all reality, there are moments that just aren't that enjoyable (aka, banana in hair).
And then there's Kairos time. Those moments straight out of a storybook, straight from God Himself, when we stop, look, and melt with happiness. The moments when you feel like the luckiest woman in the world, in the absolute best place of your life. And because these moments aren't planned and aren't predicted, it's critical that you see and soak 'em up. As Glennon says, 'If I have a couple of Kairos a day, I call it a success.'
If only we had watches that told time in Kairos.
Mine would point to last Monday, a free day at home with Cruz in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. The hour or so we played in his room, danced to his pirate sock monkey and sang 'Yellow Submarine' with Raffi. Kairos is time in Cruz's room, his cozy little nook that provides this little escape from the rest of our house. I've loved his room since the first night I rocked him to sleep in his great grandma's chair.
Kairos would also be those moments when I really take a moment to soak up Cruz's face. The way his eyebrows turn inward as he's focusing on a flash card, or the close-mouthed smile that cracks when he catches you staring at him. The moments when you stop and remember that he's mine and I actually created that.
Kairos is the moment you connect with a student you've been trying to crack for two years, or the day you finish teaching and think, 'wow, that couldn't have went better.'
Kairos is sitting down to eat the most delicious orange chicken recipe clinking glasses of beer with Beau and feeling like we still got this cooking thing down.
Kairos is quiet time in the bathtub. Everything seems to slow down when there's suds involved. From the way his hair smells after being shampooed to the wrinkles on the bottom of his feet, bath time is the perfect Kairos at the end of a day.
Kairos is catching Beau and Cruz dancing in the living room to Taylor Swift.
Kairos is having conversations at the window, watching Cruz's animated expressions as he tells me stories I can't comprehend. The way his eyes light up when he's excited and the way he laughs at himself when he knows he's funny.
Kairos is every kiss I land on his kissable cheeks. It happens at least twenty times a day. And when I'm lucky, he kisses back.
Thanks, Glennon, for the added perspective when the days are fill up with a lot more Chronos than Kairos. And for the added reminder that sometimes less is more.