Please Keep Helping Me

Dear Loveys,

I read another mom’s blog post today that so deeply connected with me and how i’ve been feeling lately that I wanted to share it with you.  It hit me the other day that, Dylan, this is your last year before “real” school.  No more pre-school.  We’ll have a schedule, a stricter schedule, homework, etc.  It made me really sad and it also made me panic a little.  I want more time with you before we get “real.”  I want to be excited for this stage but i’m so sad about it.  It’s already happening too.  The realness.  No more can I have a conversation in front of you without you overhearing, more importantly, listening to every word.  You remember everything.  Every promise, every explanation, every “I love you”, every “i’m proud of you” and you feel every feeling and know what those feelings are.  You remember it all and it all means so much more.  And Mia, you are trying so hard to find your control and to assert yourself.  I worry that I sometimes get so frustrated with your efforts, often ferocious efforts to gain this control and assert yourself, that I might be hindering it.  You’re trying to communicate your feelings, even if it’s a scream.

The thing is, you’re both learning, growing and adapting so fast.  I’m trying to keep up with your pace.  I’m constantly trying to be the best parent you need and that requires me learning and evolving along the way.  I feel horrible when I stumble, when I lose my patience or get exhausted by the process.  But i’m trying to learn from it, improve and be a good example on what it means to grow and evolve yourself.  This was the article I read earlier:

Dear kids,

Sometimes I wake up in the morning and I see that you’ve grown over night. Your face is more defined, your eyes look older. A part of me is excited and in awe; I know you have so much ahead of you. Another part is scared because time is racing and I can’t slow it down. I’m afraid that I haven’t always been awake and noticing, and that somehow I have slept through the magic of your growing. I wonder, have I enjoyed you enough? Have I given you what you needed? Is your heart still whole? Is your spirit unbroken?

I’m not always good at this. I’m not always as good as I want to be at being your mom. I want to be great; and sometimes I am, but sometimes I’m not.

Sometimes I get it, and sometimes I don’t.

Sometimes I do it right, and sometimes I completely miss it.

Everyday I make mistakes.

Sometimes I snap when I should be sensitive. Sometimes I lecture and give chores when what you needed was a hug. Sometimes I completely and utterly miss it. I know that I do. I mistake your pain for complaining or your sad heart for a bad attitude. I watch myself miss it, and later I grieve that I didn’t respond differently.

I miss it when I am tired, and you get my leftovers at the end of a long day. I wish that you didn’t, but sometimes you do.

I miss it when I am scared. I am scared of big things and little things. I really thought adults had it all figured out, but I am one now, and it turns out we don’t. Sometimes fear snatches my heart and I can’t seem to think of anything else. I forget to relax and to enjoy you. I forget to smile and to laugh. I’m working on that.

I miss it when I am lost. I’m struggling with my own demons and it has nothing to do with you. Sometimes it’s anxiety or it’s depression, but it’s never, ever your fault. I will keep striving for wholeness so that when you reach those obstacles I can help you do the same.

I know that it is easy to hang on to the negative things and forget all the positive, but I want to set the record straight. When I look at you I am SO. PROUD. When I look at you I see good. I see someone who is mighty. I wonder how I have been trusted with such a treasure. Your heart is pure and soft. You are gentle and kind, you are vivacious and fierce.

I am forever your biggest cheerleader and your greatest fan.

Please keep helping me to see you and to know you. Keep telling me when I hurt your feelings. Keep sharing with me your fears and your insecurities and we will figure it out together.

I’m okay with making mistakes, but I’m never okay with losing your heart. Your heart is what matters to me.

I hope that my weakness teaches you something. I hope that when you come upon your own brokenness, tiredness, fear, and confusion, that you will be okay with it. I pray that your imperfections won’t scare you as they have me. I pray that you won’t run from them, but that you’ll wrestle with them and you will keep showing up, saying sorry, and trying again.

We don’t always get it right and that’s okay.

We are all professional mistake makers, and you will make lots and lots of mistakes. You will make countless amounts of mistakes, just like I have, but not one could darken the light I see when I look at you. You are my treasure, you are my reason.

Even though life is racing by, sometimes we have a moment. Sometimes we can reach out, grab time, and hold it. The world stops, all is quiet, and we really see each other. In this moment when I glimpse the person you are and who you’re becoming, all I can think is…

Wow.

On this morning, where it seems you’ve grown overnight, I want to tell you that you are wonderful. You amaze me everyday – and as I watch you, you inspire me. You inspire me to pull out the greatness that’s inside me. In this family we will make mistakes, but we will keep doing it together and we will keep holding each other other tight.

It turns out I’m never, ever, going to be perfect, but I am always and forever yours, and I’m always and forever on your team. That I can promise you.

I love you.

Love,

Mama

Proud Mommy

Dear Dylan,

I want to write this down before I forget it.  If I don’t do it now, I may forget the exact words you said but i’ll never forget the feeling.

While I was making dinner tonight, you were playing in the living room with Daddy, Mia and your superheros.  You found a penny on the floor.  You came into the kitchen to show me and said, “You know what i’m going to do with this penny mommy? I’m going to buy food and toys for people who don’t have any.  If it’s not enough, i’m going to count all the money in my tzedakah box and get more for them.”

I told you how sweet and thoughtful that was.  You responded, “Not everyone has food and toys mommy.  If I don’t have enough money in my tzedakah box, i’ll save more to get stuff for everyone.”

You always amaze me.  We have been talking about how fortunate we are and thinking of ways we could show our appreciation of others.  We’ve brought the fireman doughnuts on Sunday, set out a basket of treats and waters for the delivery/mail workers, made cookies and delivered them to the neighbors, we’re making appreciation signs for the trash collector, etc.  But to hear you put it all together on your own at the sight of a penny on the floor – and beam at the idea no less – very proud mommy over here.

It’s amazing to me that 30 minutes earlier you were having a huge tantrum because you wanted to go get a toy after Grandma’s.  To then switch and be so profound and aware.  The mind and heart of a 4-year-old.  Fascinating and encouraging.

Success!!

Dear Big Boy,

enhanceYou did it! 5 days staying dry at night! So proud of you.  Night time potty training is hard because you can’t really “train” a physiological process.  Your body is either ready or it’s not.  We were out of pull-ups and you begged us to let you try wearing underwear to bed.  You weren’t ready.  It was a LOT of laundry.  You agreed to practice with pull-ups for a while longer.  If you could keep them dry for 5 days, you got a new superhero.  Well buddy, you’re rolling into preschool today with your flashy new Cyborg.  You put your leather jacket on and proudly marched into school showing off your toy to your friends and proudly announcing to your teachers how you stayed dry.  Also informed them that you’re a big boy and ready to turn 5 and start Kindergarten.  I’m so proud of my big boy.  I’d be lying if I didn’t say there was more sadness behind my tears than happiness.  I’m really missing my little boy this morning.

Love, Mommy

Convos w/ Dylan

Denhanceear Dylan,

Every night at dinner, we sit at the table together, all take 1-2 deep breaths and then go around the table sharing something fun from the day.  You wanted me to go first tonight –

Dylan: What was something fun in your day mommy?

Mommy: My fun and favorite part of my day was coming home tonight to play with you.

Dylan: Hey! That was my most fun part of the day too!