I really did.
But, as it turns out, doing One Thing At A Time does not agree with me, my lifestyle, or my hobbies. It’s an impossible mantra to adopt at work: managing a classroom, lecturing, supervising activities, grading, and keeping up with endless emails (all marked “urgent”) demands that I keep multiple trains of thought on the rails at once. However, it IS helpful to discipline my mind to concentrate on one task at a time during my office hours. The grading goes much more quickly when I’m not switching Pandora stations every ten minutes.
At home, I found that doing One Thing At A Time was, quite simply, too impractical. Sam doesn’t nap as much as he used to, and so I had to choose 2 out of 10 different chores on my list to complete during those precious hours of peace, leaving little time for things like yoga or writing. Last weekend, I caved and spent most of the morning on a multi-tasking-baby-food-making binge: steamed carrots, baked sweet potatoes, boiled green beans, and microwaved spinach. Cooked! Blended! Packaged! Frozen! Bam! It was exhilarating. (In a lame, Martha-Stewart kind of way). But though efficient productivity had never tasted so sweet to me, it apparently left a bad taste in Sam’s mouth: he’s been fussy about eating his meals ever since. Go figure.
So though this experiment has proven that I’m not cut out for (or interested in) such a high degree of concentration all the time, it has helped me teach myself to give my complete attention to Sam when we’re playing together. And there’s so much to attend to these days! He’s learning to use his arms to pull himself over the slippery wood floor now, and is slowly figuring out that his legs have something to do with mobility. He knows how to wave and will do so in response to every “Hi!” He’s nervous around machines, it’s true, but is slowly becoming reconciled to the CD player (yes, I still own “compact discs”. Shut up.) My favorite development is his new love of story time: we read at least a dozen of his little board books a day. And while I wouldn’t personally choose to learn the collected works of Sandra Boynton by heart, I love hearing him squeal out his little version of “bee-bo!” whenever we read The Belly Button Book.
Getting to know Sam, and watching him learn and grow, has give me more perspective on and greater grief over the unheeded holocaust of abortion in our country. Knowing that, while I was pregnant, millions of Americans regarded my son as a mere collection of cells and would have encouraged me to dispose of him if I didn’t want to be a mom, makes the horror of this practice infinitely more personal. I’m saddened even more to think of the toll this terrible blight is having on Sam’s generation: will his classmates, his best friends, his future wife survive? Today is the 39th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision that declared abortion a “fundamental right” for all women. If you have a moment, I encourage you to take the time to read this article and say a prayer for the unborn, their mothers, and our government.