27 May, 2009

Who are you, again?

This has been one of those mornings. Not that kind you are probably thinking of. The other kind. The kind you want to, need to, remember when you are having one of those other mornings. Art instead of TV. Playing together- for hours- instead of fighting. I have heard things like "Don't worry, Mama, I'll help him", and "It's okay, there is space for us both on the chair". Statements that make me pause, and want to ask "Who are you, again??".

But of course I know who they are. They are 2 and 4, and people just like the rest of us. With moods, good moments and not so good moments. They are fiery and bold, and not afraid to express themselves. Sometimes this is challenging. Okay, very challenging. And requires an amount of patience that I don't always have. And sometimes this energy comes through in such a wonderful way, it leaves me quiet.

I sometimes feel like I don't know what I'm doing as a parent. People assume I should know, I have spent a lot of years studying child development, after all. But the truth is, often times the best lesson for me is to just sit back and let my children be. Encourage them to be kind, respectful, but otherwise just allow them to unfold. And not fear the complexity that it just part of human nature. The good and the bad. But man, the good is just so great, isn't it?

15 May, 2009


Something interesting happened yesterday afternoon while Henry and I were reading. We were snuggled up on the couch together enjoying P.D.Eastman's "Are you My Mother?" when we came to a page that held particular interest for Henry. The one near the end when the baby bird is crying for his mother. He asked three times to go back to the page, which we did. He started saying things like "bird sad", "miss his Mommy". And then he started to cry. Not a full sob or anything, but tears in his eyes, about to spill down. And he then told me "make me sad". I was struck by this demonstration of empathy from such a little boy, and again reminded of how much more sensitive we all are then we honor, even in our earliest years. A good friend and I were having a conversation about this very thing a few days ago. I think this quality is all too often underestimated, especially in our children. I know how easy it is to do. We justify actions/words towards our children that we would never tolerate as adults, all with the rationalization that they are too young to understand. This is my thinking- they are not too young. Understand differently, perhaps, with less sophistication. But understand never the less. Maybe all the more reason to handle this unfolding emotional development with a bit more care. Let me remember this today.
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