Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Trying to wake up

February hits me like a ton of bricks. I know it's short, but it happens every time. A friend of mine gets the "aprils" - throws her for a loop every year. Me, it's February. I feel like I'm alternately sleep-walking through the days and exploding or crying at the smallest things. A bit rough, this month.
There is nothing like a child to force you to deal with yourself. You can't not eat, you can't not get up and at least try. You have to begin again. And again. And again.
Fortunately, children do not seem to hold grudges. They want to forgive you, are grateful for apologies, and a long snuggle heals many moments of short tempers or impatience. I do not want always for my children to have to listen to my apologies - do you know what I mean? I found myself saying to Eliza the other day when she apologized endlessly about something pretty trivial, "you don't need to be sorry, honey, just get on with doing it!" Hmmmm. I sometimes wish someone were saying that to me - you don't need to spend so much time being sorry, just get on with living the way you want to.
I am feeling regret that we did not think of going to Baltimore with Dan this week; he and I only just realized how much fun that would have been. What was I thinking? I truly feel like I was sleeping, not thinking, and missed a great opportunity (oh, am I beating myself up. a Science Center? and Aquarium? not to mention...PAPA?).
Staying behind forced us to get creative together, to find ways to connect after not connecting. To say yes to each other. To remember to show how much we love each other in our actions. To find our soft bellies.
Slippy-slidey on the kitchen floor, puppets (on the kitchen floor), reading reading reading, snuggling, wrestling...For me, it was also getting out (out! me, out!) - I was so fortunate to see a performance with Bela Fleck, Bassekou Kouyate, from Mali, and Anania Ngoglia and John Kitime, from Tanzania. Having tickets to this since September is probably the biggest reason we didn't think of going with Dan!
Breathing helped. No joke. And some homeopathic Calm Drops. Again, no joke - if only as a mindfulness reminder. A friend came over before Bela and after a quick hi to me sat with my kids and let them talk to her and crawl all over her for a half an hour straight, while I did the dishes in the other room and breathed. She knew, and I was so grateful. And reading posts like this one on the new collaborative blog Simple Homeschool - it was a wake-up call that the way we parent, the foundation of love that we are building for our children is the most important thing that we are doing right now. It makes the challenge feel worthy, if that makes sense - not futile, but worth every hard day, to get it right. Imperfectly so.
I am so fortunate to have these girls in my life. These people. They are amazing, they unfold daily as these incredible people, and if I can just shut up once in a while, and pinch myself awake, even in the middle of February, I might get to witness it all.
So sorry we weren't with you pops.
We are so happy that you're home.


Stephanie said...

I think for me it's hard to forgive myself because I worry I'll screw up my children.
Shout at them over something that seems trivial to me, and is soooo important to them.
So while I can easily -and immediately- forgive them anything and everything, I can hardly ever forgive myself.
same as you - try again. try again.

Kerry said...

Im sorry...what were you saying? I am mesmerized by Ani's puppets.

Oh, February. Yes, crap. It is in fact the longest short month that there is. Have a cup of tea. A silly bubble bath. There, see, it's almost over. Soon the snow will melt.

Congratulate yourself on skipping the trip to Baltimore; it will be much better when the kids are a little older. There is an amazing train museum there and later they'll be old enough for it.You don't have to do everything now. And you don't need to apologize, not for everything, not all the time.

Merry said...

Well said, Karima! Amen, sister! Deb, you have too much of me in you. I remember being told to pick my fights with you girls. Getting upset, saying "no" to insignificant things just went in one ear and out the other. So what if there was a mess for me to clean up? So what if your idea of a fun time didn't match mine? If no one was getting hurt or things weren't being damaged, I should turn my back and let you at it! Easy to say, but easy to do? Not on your life! And now, with no little ones to tend to, I too struggle with the February blahs. Especially this year with no trip to Mexico to soak up the sunshine! I need to get out my solar lamp. Thinking of our trip west in 3 weeks certainly is helping, and the fact that I saw a skunk waddling through the snow yesterday morning (a sign of spring?) tells me this won't last forever! So, while the girls watch a movie, soak in the tub with some good smelling soap, a cuppa and a candle!! Indulge in the moments you can grab. I love you and will help you indulge in a very short time! AND NO APOLOGIES!!

Stacy (Mama-Om) said...

Hey Debbie,
I just got done writing a post about apologizing/having a do-over (not sure If I am going to post it though)... While I know that there will never be a time I won't need to apologize, I can't help but wonder if I might, through this practice of getting open and present, over and over and over again, find that I will be needing to apologize less at some future point in our lives. That getting present to my feelings so I can just have them instead of acting them out (what you call "moving on") might become a more common reality for me.