I’ve Just had a reminder from the universe to not to take everything so seriously. Or to rush to judgement. Not that I ever do any of that!
We’ll start with my daughter. She has been acting out like crazy and not sleeping and it was basically melt-down city (me, not her). I wrote a post about it. I questioned my parenting skills. There was wringing of hands, inner turmoil, the whole nine yards. I tried regrouping and facing it with love. Mostly compassion for myself because I really needed to cut myself a break.
Well. It turns out she was having a reaction to an inhaler medicine she was taking for her cough. She is really, really sensitive to any amount of steroid, even the small doses. Side effects: hyperactivity, extreme thirst. (So that explains her constant whines for water and then potty breaks. Nope, not entirely stall tactics this time.)
Hahahaha. Good thing I didn’t overthink all that and make sweeping conclusions about my parenting skills and my child’s sanity!
And about that lemon with water. The other day I literally wrote a love story about coffee. I mocked the idea that anyone in their right mind would never leap from bed for water with lemon!
Funny thing about this detox cleanse thing…I am discovering I kinda need to hydrate more. Especially first thing in the morning. You know, before I drink my coffee.
Ahem. Ladies and gentlemen, I am sitting here writing with hot water and lemon. Pre-coffee. I am not sure if there was leaping from bed, but still. Slightly funny.
OH, and my child is not a (1000%) hell-raising three-year-old.
(But seriously, the decaf coffee IS brewing. I haven’t totally lost my marbles. I mean have you noticed how much I love coffee??)
I thought I was through the worst of the “threenager” behaviors with my daughter. I was wrong.
My sweet, almost-four-year-old child has been pushing my buttons lately. A LOT. Especially at nighttime. No, scratch that. Pretty much all the time. Standing on furniture. Jumping on the bed. The naughtier the behavior the giddier she gets.
Yesterday she managed to raise my ire. It rattled me. I don’t lose my cool that often. Except for last night. Oh it was bad. At one point I was yelling and she was hiding under the coffee table, cackling at me. Mommy can’t fit under the table! OH SHE GOT ME GOOD.
I woke up today and was able to laugh about it. I had given my child exactly what she wanted–a reaction! Today I was determined to stay calm and cool.
Tonight she stood on the chair. I calmly stated, please stop standing on the chair. She stopped! Then later, she jumped on the bed. Please stop jumping on the bed. SHE STOPPED.
Tonight when I was giving her a bath, I said “you know I love you even when I get mad at you, right?” She smiled shyly and said yes.
The answer is always the same isn’t it? Meet it with love. Love that doesn’t get its feathers ruffled. Love that stays steady in the face of the storm. Have a misstep? That is ok. Meet it with love, too.
This past week felt like a ride in an old jalopy. I had creative bursts, some of them so disruptive that I felt tossed about and thrown off my seat…only to then be followed with abrupt stops that ground me to a halt.
It felt like this in my home too, where I couldn’t seem to get a grip on anything. Not the messes, the child who seemed to be acting out at every turn, not the errands that needed running or the clothes I was CERTAIN would be folded and put away for once. (Maybe another week.) Of course, toddler plus illness plus lack of sleep plus unexpected wet bed plus laundry pile (and on and on…) equals off kilter indeed. It doesn’t take much.
You never know who will take these moments in stride. Not to gloat or anything but between my husband and me, I tend to be the one who does well with disruptions in routine. Yet, this time around it was him patiently adapting to it all, as I was triggered with anger and melodrama by the smallest of things.
Exhale. Return to breath and meet it with love. Return to writing. To movement. To the bird feeder, at last refilled with seeds (one errand accomplished –by my husband of course!) and now populated with three mourning doves, a woodpecker and a female cardinal.
Namaste, friends. Hoping for a week that finds its stride!
Two days in a row now I’ve sat down in the morning with my coffee and an intention to write…and two days in a row I have decided to draw and paint instead. Either way, a very good way to start the day, and I am grateful for that! I am sure the words will return soon.
I created this little Florida scene and thought I would share with you all. It features (one) of my favorite little birds, the Ibis.These cool little birds are common place where I live. Isn’t that just amazing? Not exactly a bird I saw growing up in the Midwest, I will tell you that! Anyway, ibises are a hoot to watch. They typically travel in groups and peck at the ground looking for bugs. It isn’t uncommon to see a group of ten or twelve of them crossing the yard en masse. They make themselves quite at home, too. They don’t seem to mind sharing the space with the odd squirrel or a few mourning doves.
Well, with one exception. Beagles. They are spooked by two old, loud, barking beagles running toward them, and I certainly can’t blame them for that.
Update: after posting I went outside and what did I see but a small flock of ibises! Well played, universe.
This week has been intense. INTENSE. I keep using that word because nothing else quite describes it. It hasn’t been bad necessarily, but it seems like each day once I catch my breath another fire pops up that I need to put out. Phew. I’m just riding the waves and hoping they calm soon.
And well, the external world has been pretty hard to manage too. Heart-wrenching in fact. Too much unnecessary loss of life. Injustices. Despair. And often the cries from entire communities that seem over and over again to fall on deaf ears.
I was feeling pretty down and hopeless. And that is when I heard it.
A quiet whisper. A song actually.
Out of nowhere on Wednesday a song lyric popped in my head. Don’t give up. And a female vocal. I couldn’t place it and it was driving me NUTS. I finally figured it out–I was hearing “Don’t Give up” by Peter Gabriel, and it was the vocal by Kate Bush that was sweetly singing in my ear…her voice is ethereal.
I listened to it on Youtube and I can hardly contain myself. I was like, I GOTTA BLOG ABOUT THIS SONG. First because it is a freaking awesome song and maybe I’m not the only one who needs to hear it this week. But mostly: THE VIDEO YOU GUYS. Oh my god. It is five and half minutes (!!) of Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush hugging.
Yes, you read that correctly. A looooooong hug. While singing. Hugging–and singing–it out for five minutes straight. It is nothing short of amazing. (Ok and hilarious. Mostly hilarious.)
How can anyone feel bleak and hopeless after watching and listening to this? YOU ARE WELCOME.
I have written a few times about how it feels like things are moving at glacial speed in my life. That the universe is testing my ability to be patient. To trust. And also, I think, to simply experience joy in the meantime.
It seems I am frog-swimming through life.
That is what I realized yesterday as I dipped into the swimming pool and effortlessly started moving with frog kicks. I was doing the breast-stroke I suppose, but slower. And did I mention effortlessly! I did this nearly the entire half-hour until the last five minutes of my workout when I suddenly decided I wanted to be on my back. So I flipped over and began doing the backstroke.
As I flipped from facing down to being outstretched on my back, gazing into clouds, it reminded me of yoga. Where you have poses that curl you up, surrendering…and then standing with shoulders back….heart open to receive.
Surrender. Receive. Repeat.
Earlier this summer I started swimming regularly. I remember telling my therapist about this new routine, and I was a little embarrassed. I explained to her how rough I have it– you know, having to walk past a total of four houses to get to a large community pool. And to arrive only to discover that I have the pool all to myself. I know–I told her–I am a bit spoiled.
Her response: Isn’t it wonderful to be spoiled?
Her words took me aback. Actually it IS nice to be spoiled. How often can I claim to have felt spoiled by anything? Especially in these last few challenging years.
I’ve held tight to her words as I have floated on my back in the cool water watching clouds move above me. As I’ve seen my leg kicks move from weak and disjointed to strong and in sync. As I have danced giddily under water like a mermaid.
Frog-swimming through life right now. Surrendering and receiving.
Surrender. Receive. Repeat.
Are you frog-swimming too? Share your experiences!
At last. At long last. Sitting in front of my computer with a coffee (and my beloved skunk ape mug to boot!) and well-rested and content and ahhhhhhhh….
This week has been like a topsy-turvey, off-balance, whirling dervish act. While blind-folded. And sleep-deprived.
This week has been like taking a big bit of mac n cheese expecting bacon topping and getting cinnamon. (Yes it happened. Thank the three-year old.)
I won’t explain all the mundane reasons why the week has been so chaotic. Okay maybe I will. There was the incident where I stepped on a shell my daughter had left on the floor, which caused the shell to slide against wall thereby making a tiny “clink” noise…which then managed to WAKE my almost-asleep daughter and cause a cascade of events resulting in her taking another 1.5 hours to get to sleep.
If wordpress had emojis I would insert that yellow dude with the huge eyes that seem to say say “WHAT THE HECK!” (or insert something spicier). Doesn’t matter. Today is a new day. I am refreshed! I am writing! My daughter is refreshed! The Shells are put away! The whirling dervish act has been retired for the time being.
Last night my child got over-tired and wouldn’t sleep, perhaps because she went to sleep five minutes early or maybe it was five minutes late, I don’t know. Maybe it is this lunar eclipse that is a full moon in pisces with its “surge of emotional energy” or maybe it is because we tried to put her to sleep on a day ending with a “y”…nobody knows. My child requires precision with her bedtime routine and if you veer off course, hold onto your hats folks.
Well, you may recall that yesterday I was a tad sleep-deprived. So there it was, 9 pm at night and it is already two hours past my kid’s bedtime and I am SUPER CRANKY and yelling at my kid to GO TO SLEEP NOW. Because that is always effective. And my child runs to the living room, suddenly naked, because she has decided to strip any and all clothes off of herself of course. So she is lying upside-down naked on the couch and is being RIDICULOUSLY silly. Making jokes and laughing.
And I stood there and I WAS SO MAD THAT SHE WAS BEING FUNNY.
And then I realized how ABSURD I was being. And I started cracking up. And she cracked up.
It reminds me of when I was little and my mom would do this game where we would be grumpy and she would go, “I feel a tickle coming up your throat…it is tickling your lips, I feel a smile coming!” And goddamnit she would MAKE ME SMILE AND LAUGH. The nerve!
I think this is how we survive as parents. Our kids, thankfully, are cute enough and funny enough to break through our pissy-why-won’t-you-just-sleep attitudes. And we smile. And eventually the moon waxes and wanes and the stars align and finally, at last, the child does fall asleep. (Even if it is three hours past bedtime.)