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.