So, I opened ye olde dashboard at something crazy like, I dunno, 8:00 a.m. and here it is a full 14 and a half hours later and I’m finally coming here to write something, weary from a day that has quite honestly just kicked my ass. We had one of the most challenging days we’ve had in a while around here today and, well, it just sucked.
I had every intention of coming here to write all about the awesome afternoon Joshua and I had yesterday and I feel like today has sort of sucked the wind out of my sails. I find that I can’t really be open right now about the way the day went because I don’t want to be seen as ungrateful or uncaring or whatever. I kind of feel like my safe space has been torn away a little bit.
And then there’s the fact that the conversation I had yesterday with Alena is still ringing in the my ears. And I wonder how much of today was because of me. We talked about the act of parenting our children. Of doing more than just surviving. Of getting by. We shared our frustration with feeling like we’re not entirely sure what we’re doing with this age right now. But we walked away knowing that what we’re doing isn’t necessarily what we thought we would be doing.
After our conversation, I knew I needed to make a change in the way we do things around here, so after Emma’s nap yesterday, I asked Joshua if he wanted to go swimming.
“With Miss Becca?”
“No, just with Mama.”
“With my baby Emma?”
“No, we’ll take Emma to childcare and you and I will go swimming.”
A little light twinkled in his eyes when he realized it would just be the two of us. It’s so rarely just the two of us. And then a wave of guilt washes over me because for three years, it was just us. And now it’s us plus Emma.
I know that this has taken an enormous toll on him. I see the way he is with her and I can’t help but think that he feels slighted sometimes because I’m changing her diapers or nursing her or directing her away from trying to scale the coffee table.
So yesterday we went swimming. Just the two of us. We got changed and we left and we dropped Emma off and we hurried out the door.
We played and we laughed. I chased him. He chased me. We splashed. We curled up in a lounge chair and I held him and we talked. He snuggled into me and we sat there and we waited until we could go back in the water. My heart was so full.
I want that moment to be the way we are all the time.
The conversation she and I had made me realize that while I love my son, I could be doing more for him. I’m tell myself that I’m doing my best to raise him but deep down I think I’m just lying to myself.
Given his behavior sometimes, like yesterday after it wasn’t just us anymore or today, I wonder if I’m failing him. Is this the kind of person he’s going to grow up and be? Is this just a by-product of the fact that he’s a very, very sensitive 4 year old? Is this because he won’t nap but desperately needs more sleep? Is his behavior strictly attention seeking?
I don’t know.
And I’m not sure I can know definitively.
All I know is that I can do better as his mother.
He deserves better.
He deserves my best.
Contrary to his face in this picture, he was actually quite happy.
He just did the opposite of smile because I dared to interrupt his snack time.