I've been thinking a lot lately, about parenting. Today, he's 3 weeks and 4 days old. Time goes by in slow motion, yet speeds right past us. Sleepless nights make the days seem long but the sweetness is enough to make one want to linger here for an eternity, or two.
There's nothing like a new baby to make you realize how important it is to be conscious of the experience of your wee ones. From his experiences in utero, which were just my experiences chemically and energetically shared, to how I chose to bring him into this world, to the softness of his first blankets and t-shirts... I've been considering him. His new eyes that don't want or need bright lights, his new skin that wants organic fibers and not harsh synthetics, his new ears that have heard nothing but the swishing of my digestion and my beating heart and want nothing more than to listen to my breathing as he lays upon my chest. I try to keep the ambient noise to as much of a minimum as possible, but with a screeching 3 year old, and a 5 year old that knows nothing of an indoor voice... This isn't always the easiest task.
My little zen teacher in such a tiny package has been a wonderful reminder of how important it is to remain aware of the experiences of our wee ones of all ages. And the timing is perfect as we've entered the terrible 3's again and mama sure could use a reminder that their little minds and bodies are growing so much faster than their emotions can possibly keep up with. More often than not these days, his older brother's feelings overwhelm him, swallow him up, and he expresses himself physically. He screams. He pinches. He takes his dirt encrusted 3 year old claws to the skin of anyone standing too close to his meltdown.
He is having all the feelings about not being the baby any longer. I have to remember that his lived experience is full of change, full of growth, full of his own struggles; it's my job as his mother, his tour guide to life, to dig a little deeper and find more patience.
Same goes for the 5 year old who is learning that princesses are only in fairy tales and she, in fact, is not one.
And then, who knew, that 10 was so damn close to teenager?! It's taking a patience I didn't even understand life would require of me, to breathe deeply through pre-teen girl bitchiness. But it's my responsibility, in the thick of all of it, swirling in the vortex of chaotic energies, to ground and center, to find my peace, and hold fast to a calm I didn't possess until motherhood.
...But dammit! I just have a few more photos to edit- ONE email to send- can I please just wash this paint off of my hands before you scream in my ear about how you don't want strawberry cereal, you want frosted flakes. But we ran out of that yesterday and you are sure I have the powers to manifest breakfast cereal out of thin air, so you simply must scream at me in protest of my laziness that is clearly stopping me from manifesting the breakfast cereal of your choosing right this moment.
You're 3. I'm 32... And as bad as I'd like to scream at the top of my lungs, "I'm not a god damned magician and strawberry cereal is really just frosted flakes with an added bonus so what in the hell are you complaining about anyhow?!"
But I don't.
Instead, I take a knee, take my paint covered hands, and try not to cover your sweet little 3 year old boy shoulders in my technicolor love for you. I mirror your feelings back to you. I am paying attention to your lived experience, and I know that right now, you simply don't want strawberries invading your sugar coated flakey greatness. This cereal dilemma is so important, it's eclipsing everything else for you.
This idea, this notion of connection and awareness of the lived experience of not only our children but our partner(s) as well, this connects so deeply with my previous post; Creativity, Children & Chaos. The balance is found, not only in our growing capacity to abstract chaos, but in our ability to stay present and connected as well.