Monday, December 8, 2014

Happies and Sads

Tonight when Lily and I started saying our Happies and sads (a nightly tradition my Dad would do with us every night after he read to us ).  She told me she wished me and her Dad got married because then we could all cuddle and lay by each other together. Even though she has never seen me and her Dad together she longs for that. I told her if that was the situation we wouldn't have Brother or Casey. She quickly had a solution to that, "brother and Casey could be my brother too." I explained that the only way brother could exist is if Casey and I were together. She was very confused by this and then said "so if your with a boy you have a boy. What if you marry a girl? Then you just have two girls and both have babies" She laughed and said "I'm going to marry a girl, wait no I still want to marry a boy." Then she said "or a boy could marry a boy like Kevin and Robert." She just smiled and moved onto the next subject. As I laid there I had a sense of relief come over me. I have given a lot of thought to this subject and I have wondered how I can teach my children that you can love anyone and it doesn't matter if you love  a boy or girl. I didn't want it to just be something I told her. I hoped she would come to that conclusion on her own.  At that moment I felt proud to hear her say anyone can love anyone. 

I have been writing a paper for school on emotional intelligence in children. I have researched and spent hours reading statistics and case studies. I have createsd a program to help parents stimulate emotional growth in their children. I am so excited to implement these methods into my life.  One of the methods is to listen, sounds so simple but I am talking about active listening. Putting down your phone, clearing space in your mind, looking at your child and truly listening. I have been feeling extremely sad about the type of parent I am when I'm busy and tired.  Now don't get me wrong I know I have been doing my best and I am a wonderful mother. However, I know I could be doing much better. I have realized I haven't been very present. I have so many things going on every day that pull me in five million different directions. I have a chaotic feeling all the time and I just don't want to live like that anymore. 

It has been almost six months since I promised myself I would start taking care of myself. This journey has been incredible so far and I am so proud of where I am today. I am also promising myself that I am going to stop and listen. I am going to look Lily in the eyes so that she knows I care about what she is saying. I am going to slow down. I don't want  to miss any opportunities to help her grow and learn. I want to stand beside her as she sees things for the first time. I want to be here to answer her questions openly and honestly. 

One of the most amazing things about life is the fact that we can continually learn and grow. We can always do better and be better. And I am going to take advantage of that. Remember.... We can always try a little harder. 

Sometimes we get tired and we might not handle things the way we wish we would have. And sometimes when we are paying close attention we are able to be there in the exact moment our child needs us. That moment when they are trying to figure out one of life's big questions and they look up and you are there. You are present, you are listening. There isn't a greater feeling in the world then knowing that you are the person they can count on. 

Conclusion for tonight's Happies and sads is that I am counting this one as a win. 

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