When the girls were learning to walk, I cannot remember a single time they fell on their bottoms or turned a corner too short where I shamed them. I don’t recall ever scorning “you weren’t paying attention” or expecting balance. Rather, I buffered and bumped and directed and encouraged.
I watched them learn to walk.
As I sit here with my morning coffee, I am fully aware of the butterflies in my stomach related to the parenting ahead of me today.
David has office space in our little downtown now, so today is my first day with all five kids under my jurisdiction without the protection of David working so be cool or his live and in color reinforcement for my plans.
A big butterfly is related to the inconvenience of teenage freeloading and entitlement.
Another butterfly is related to the task of waking the household in hopes for some sort of order for the day.
Another butterfly is related to the fact I need to address a late night door dash that was done without permission and whose evidence was hidden in an heirloom toybox.
There are other butterflies too… related to dog training and in laws coming in town, to wanting to carve out my writing time in my new main floor creative space and some other things. The butterflies aren’t helping me at all.
As I walked the dogs towards home just a minute ago, I really was permeating this idea – reminding myself over and over – that how I handle all of this is a choice. My desire for some structure is a choice. My handling of the door dash annoyance is a choice. My joy or lack there if is a choice.
Any choice that feels anxious and tense is not going to allow me to find that inner hum that consistently swings at the proverbial balls thrown to me today with some sort of grace and love.
If I don’t want my day to be ruined, I can’t ruin it.
And that’s when the relaxed but ready stance of the batters from Friday nights Cardinals game came to my mind. The game that kept me up too late and had me a tired mess all weekend had also given me a lovely 40th birthday gift reminder via two really joyful home runs: keep a good eye, a ready posture, beware of distractions and knock it out of the park.
It’s easy to think your teenager should know a lot more than they do. They are a rat in a maze looking for cheese and their shitheadness is being discovered…. though you really really really want to think they know better, they don’t until they do.
But just like I didn’t label every learning to walk tumble as unfortunate or imbalanced; I really don’t want to label every learning to live tumble as lazy or shameful.
I want to encourage and direct them to better choices, more fun and therefore have a fun and more open day myself.
Swing batter batter swing…
Wish me luck 🙃