Hey all! I took a teeny break to catch up on my current subscriptions and… you guys are so awesome and truly inspire me. I learn something with each log in. Thank you. And, again, thanks for rocking out with a sister as we take on another 365. You make me feel kind of interesting.
I’m starting this year’s WW with a little humor. But you knooow behind every joke is some truth! I don’t do new year resolutions, but rather opt to address, assess and create workable solutions asap, regardless of the date. I can be quite type A; I like timeliness. I’m orderly. I thrive in an organized space. Some things I just appreciate knowing (way) ahead of time. I struggle to maintain a poker face when I’m hit with some nonsense. I get antsy when I feel my time is being wasted + frustrated when people volunteer to help me then end up delivering a half-assed result. (Knowing that I could have done a great job manning it alone!) Yea. All of that. I’m one of those. But hey, I’m working on not sweating the things that are out of my control! Especially trivialities that’ll be forgotten by tomorrow.
The sweet, innocent spirits of little ones are often overlooked and adjudged useless. Pssshh! They can show us a thing or two about adulthood! Interacting with my three-year-old nephew, Taj, almost daily, has taught me to practice patience patience patience and:
Seize the day. Little man hops out of the bed ready, smiling and even laughing sometimes. His favorite lines? It’s morning time! The sunshine is back! And It’s time to wake up! Uhm. Says who??! My body responds with an uhn uh, it’s too dang early for his high pitched giddiness! But my mind: you’re right, buddy! Let’s do this! Fist bumps all around. Even if you do wake up on the wrong side of the bed, his infectious smile and laughter will turn that frown upside down and that is the best way to start every day.
It’s ok to completely veg out on your favorite shows and movies sometimes. I try to stay conscious of what I feed my mind and I’d like to think I’m in a good state, but on the opposite side of the same coin, I enjoy being entertained, laughing at very inappropriate things + not thinking too much at all. And that is quite alright. In moderation. Balance it out with some good books, brain games + physical activity and you’re golden.
Take the risk. My heart stops every time Taj leaps from the couch to the ottoman. But what does he do? (Busts his face.) He lives. He lives to see another day to perfect the spacing and timing of that leap. I cannot count the amount of knocks and knots his head alone has taken in his few years. There’s that and he wants to befriend the creepy crawlies on the deck and in the grass. (Georgia is critter central, FYI! We’re blessed to house the entire spectrum of regular insects to what I deem “tropic style” monster bugs.) He also gets a giggle from stepping on your toe and bumping teeth and heads. I know in time he’ll learn that pain is more probable when you behave recklessly, but until then, I admire this fearlessness. Life should be fun, exciting and a little scary, right?
Do what you wanna do. Color outside the lines. Jump in every puddle. Mold that dolphin from yellow Play-doh instead of gray. Let the cop be the hero in your game. Pull your sandwich apart take an hour to actually eat it. If nowhere else, he should be allowed to create his own reality when it comes to his solitary playtime and the few things that are in his control; it’s harmless at his age. And really, who cares?
It’s ok to say no. My oh my, you wouldn’t believe it, but I sometimes feel obligated to people who don’t and won’t do shit for me! (I’m speaking of those who don’t offer reciprocity or much more than small talk.) I feel guilty when I say I might attend their lil party, but when the day comes, I’m questioning if I even want to look at these bland mouth breathers all night. (The answer is almost always nah.) I’m learning that it is ok to be honest with the joy I find in my alone time and say no without explanation. They’ll get over it. Plus, people who know me know me understand that if it’s not on some art, unity and/or food, don’t bother. If you force me to go, don’t get mad when I come late and leave early! I’d much rather chop it up with Taj or stay in with you guys, my books + HGTV. And hey, the rare times I do feel like getting out to club/dance/drink, it’s a surprise that I show. And everyone loves surprises 🙂
Parenting is hard yo. Although I want to wring his neck sometimes (lovingly, of course), Taj is thee smartest, funniest, coolest, most affectionate, creative, inquisitive, observant guy I know. I love him so much and relish the time we spend and that patience sure comes in handy as he grows out of the narcissistic phase. From where I stand in my no kids no curfew status, it’s so easy to be hypercritical and hypothetical, saying what I would do if I was his mom and sharing unsolicited (but awesome) advice. Ah! Where do I get off with zero years of mommyhood under my belt?! I can easily say nah to babysitting and freely go about my day without any real responsibility outside my self.
More than ever, I understand the great sacrifices of hands-on parenting.
I proudly stand to applaud my big sister and brother-in-love for doing an amazing job with my nephew. Every waking and resting moment of their lives revolve around this little human. It’s a full time gig with lots of double shifts, unthanked grunt work and overtime. Being a parent means you are wholly responsible for another LIFE! Whether you’re in their presence or not. Some things are innate, but the rest are learned and, for now, Taj’s parents are the most influential teachers in his world. And him theirs. That’s a huge undertaking for which you can never be completely ready, even after years of experience. Seeing them in action has taught me what it means to be selfless and, more importantly, it’s taught me to stfu + reserve a great deal of my counsel for myself. You know, that man in the mirror G checkin we talked about. I can’t control my sideeye tho..
Who knew we’d learn so much from someone whose time on this Earth is just a small fraction of ours? Thanks Taj