Tuesday, February 24, 2015
Walking the Line
Every time someone asks, I find myself saying "THIS is the best age, seriously." Then I follow it up with a laugh and a "...but I say that at every age." It's true though. 18 months is the best, just as 19 months will be the best, just as 4 years and 3 months is the best. They're all good in their own way, and the older my children get the less sad I am about time passing, about them growing bigger and older. That surprises me, but just the other night I told Hank that although I wholeheartedly hope there are more babies in our future, if we were to just be done here, even though my heart would ache over the fact that we wouldn't ever have another tiny newborn of our own, I feel like we've done it right- at least so far.
So then I started thinking about what I consider to be "doing it right." I thought about it a lot. I certainly don't think we have it all figured out. In fact just the other night after a particularly rough day with Henry, Hank and I spent over an hour asking ourselves "WHAT ARE WE DOING WRONG?" and subsequently questioning all of our parenting techniques.
I often think about this line that I walk as a mother. I want so badly to keep Henry's spirit wild and free, but at the same time he needs to understand that there are rules in place for a reason. I want to raise an independent, thinking child who doesn't feel like he needs to be anything but himself, but I also want to raise a polite, respectful, contributing member of society who understands that everything he does has an impact on his environment. So I walk the line. I try to be fair and consistent, firm and kind, loving and open. It's hard, this parenting thing. The past few months have been the most challenging for me, and I realize that at times I can go to yelling much too quickly, so I've been working on that...because lord knows that doesn't help or solve anything. And me yelling? It only teaches my children that that is an appropriate way to react to things, which it obviously isn't.
It's a constant learning process, every single day. Sometimes I feel like I have it all figured out but then I'm blindsided by the simplest things. I'm grateful though, to have these little people who are constantly pushing me to be better, to do better. I look forward to many years down the road and seeing who I am then, after being these boys' mama throughout their lives. I can only imagine.
But doing it right? I think if you stop and question things, and wonder how you can do something differently; when you want to improve constantly and are always asking yourself "what can I do better?" that's the way to go.
So the sun comes up, the sun goes down. We do our best and go to sleep wanting to do better. The days feel so slow while we're in them but I always seem to look back in amazement that an entire month has gone by in a flash. The boys keep growing- Charlie is impossibly a year and a half old and Henry is almost four and half. I think to myself often- this can't be right. They can't already be this old. But it's true, and as the days slide on by I try to reach out and grab bits of them, capture them in photos and video and words. I walk the line, I work hard at being the best mother and partner I can be, I work hard at my job and at being a better friend, daughter, sister. I offer up little prayers to the universe, please please please let the goodness keep coming. And I'm thankful. I'm so thankful sometimes that I cry thinking about all of the things we've built, thankful for the LOVE in our world. So I keep on calling every age and stage the best, because they are. Every one of them. And I look to tomorrow and next week and next month, and hope that each one continues to be the best. I hope that I always see our now as being the most beautiful. Because really, what more could I want?