Dreams To Do

January 2016 archive

When He Pats My Back

Building a close relationship with my 4-year-old son has been a journey. Don’t get me wrong, from the moment I felt those first kicks in my belly I loved him fiercely and when I held him in my arms for the very first time, I knew he would have my heart forever. However, as a parent you quickly learn that while you technically do hold all the control in the parent-child relationship, you really have no control. If your 2-year-old decides that it is his life mission to refuse to wear socks and shoes, chances are he will be going shoeless that day.

I’m going to be real honest and admit that a year ago I thought something may be wrong with my son. Either that or something was seriously wrong with me as a parent. The terrible twos were beyond terrible and three was in a completely different realm… like who came up with ‘terrible twos’? Two was NOTHING compared to how terrible age three was. There were many nights where by the time I got all three kids to bed, all I could do was drown myself in tears. And the thought of dealing with what we went through that day again tomorrow was almost enough to turn me into an alcoholic. Instead, I spent a lot of those days commiserating with my mom friends who also had difficult toddlers. And I got really familiar with the stares as I carried my barefoot 3-year-old kicking and screaming over my shoulder with no coat on in the middle of winter to pick his big sis up from school.

I hit some of my parenting lows during those rough days with Landon. I said things I never could have ever imagined myself saying when he was just a sweet new babe in my arms. I raised my voice more times than I’d ever like to admit. I thought things that no parent wants to admit thinking. And I’m telling you all of this because I think it is 100% completely normal and now that we are on the other side of the terrible/horrible/horrendous twos/threes, I can say that it will get better. If you are in the throes of it now, stay strong. Pull out all the love you can find in your heart and pour it out on your sweet, monstrous child. Under all the tantrums and the stubbornness and the seemingly utter dislike towards you is still a perfect little God-given creation.

Today Landon and I have a very special bond. We’ve worked through more things than my first born and I ever had to. I now better understand his personality and what he needs and he better understands how he should behave and how to communicate in a way that benefits all of us. Growth is a miraculous thing. The age of four has been a game changer. Whereas a year ago it was at times like a war zone during the bedtime routine, he now sweetly asks me to carry him up the stairs on his way to bed. Every night as his little legs and arms are wrapped around me with his head on my shoulder, he gently pats my back as I carry him up. Some nights I can’t hold back the tears of happiness thinking just how far we’ve come in his four short years. He loves me. He really, really, really loves me. And the love I feel in return is so heartbreaking… in the best way possible.

On The Other Side

Hello…. from the other side! (He, he, he.) Happy New Year! Hooray for 2016! You don’t even know how good it feels to put 2015 behind me with all the hope in the world that 2016 will be bigger and better.

I find it utterly fascinating how life is so unpredictable, yet everything seems to happen in bursts of good or bad. I still can’t get over all the hurdles we overcame last year. Roman’s first surgery, an unexpected medical diagnosis, crumbling moving plans, horrendous forrest fires, an epic and destructive wind storm, and yet another major surgery for Roman to finish off the year strong. Typing it up, it all sounds so painful and hellish, but the truth is that I still had a good year. Coming out of it, my family is strong and healthy and hopeful that we will have smooth sailing for a while.

The icing on the cake of 2015 was Roman’s final (hopefully!) surgery on December 8th to fix his kidney reflux. We went into it very optimistic since he seemed to do so well after his last operation. However, it was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to experience. He was under anesthesia for almost 6 hours and didn’t come out of it as well as last time. His recovery in the hospital included four days of utter torture for me. Nothing is worse than seeing your child in pain. NOTHING. I’ve never been so miserable in my life and would have given anything to take his place. However, he pulled through and is back to his spunky, sassy little self these days.

And now I am done. I’m done talking about how rough last year was. I’m done thinking about it. I’m ready to move forward and change my mindset to let in the good. I’ve spent the last couple months thinking a lot about this blog and what I want to do with it. Should I continue? Should I start something new? What should I write about? I still don’t have the answers, but I know I’m not ready to completely pull the plug. I just want to get back to writing from my heart. I want to put out more inspiring words and photos. I want to rediscover a piece of myself that I feel like I’ve lost.

It is so easy to get swept away in what is happening to us and around us. It is so hard to just be. When life is going 10 million miles per minute, how do we stop long enough to sort out our own head? That’s the conundrum I feel like I’m facing lately. How do I find make the time to work through my own issues when I spend so much time caring for others and running around like a chicken with her head cut off? I think this is something a lot of parents struggle with and I want to be more aware of it this year.

I want to stop what I’m doing and catch snowflakes on my tongue with my children. I want to press pause on life and close my eyes and listen to some good music while doing nothing else. I want to find more balance… more moments of silence among the chaos. And that is my hope for this new year.

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