PromisesMy son Elliot made me promise to never, never, ever, ever, ever, smoke again yesterday.
I finally told them both that I sometimes smoke, had quit and then relapsed and started smoking again. Elliot looked into my eyes with such concern, "but Mama, you're going to get yourself on fire, aren't you?"
Well, now. If that didn't stop me dead in my tracks.
So, Day 1, anewOur kids are great at reminding us about promises. They really show clearly how painful it is when we break them. They don't hide behind decorum when we disappoint. They feel their feelings, let us know and then, miraculously, let it go and move on. Oh, I might hear about it later how this person punched this person in the neck, or that person spit on that person. But, really, if I give my kids the space to feel their unpleasant feelings about even grand disappointment, they usually get over it quickly. I'm not going to fix their unpleasantness or argue with them about it. I'm just going to allow them the dignity to feel like crap for a while. Oh yeah, and apologize when I'm wrong or I have hurt them.
I'm reading Love and Logic again--the one for kids 6-12. It's great. I wish I had read these things when I was pregnant. But now is better than never. I was a helicopter parent at the beginning because of the kids' ages and safety concerns. But now, eh, I'm a lot more willing to let them have consequences. Now I'm working on the subtext messages that I send them both. It's much more nuanced, this parenting business. It requires that we be aware of what we're saying all the time to everyone. And it requires that I have my own shit together spiritually. They are not about me. They came through me. I'm lucky and humbled by the task of raising them. So far, they're doing fine but Man have I got some work to do. The funny thing is, it's mostly about letting go.
Speaking of letting go, my helper and right hand of 5 and 1/2 years, Andressa Da Silva, left us this week to pursue school full time. (It's no wonder why I hate school so much.) Her schedule no longer permits her to be with us on Monday and Wednesday evenings as she has been forever. Heartbroken doesn't not even begin to cover how I felt when she delivered the news to me while I stood in Plum Market. I just began to weep. And in writing that, I've just begun to weep, yet again.
To say that she is a babysitter, just doesn't capture her. She's great. Great person, great sister figure to my kids, great daughter to me, beautiful inside and out. I toast Dressa in her future. I hope she'll be back with us at some point if her schedule permits. (I have to say that to myself because I cannot fathom life without her right now).
Other areas of life as I have known it for the past 11 years or so have begun to crumble a bit, as well. As a result, I've had to turn to my Higher Power more. What do they say, rock bottom is good solid ground? I only wish I were more prone to seeking God during the good times if for no other reason than to thank God for all that he has already bestowed upon me. He has been generous, to say the least.
Another promise I made to myself was that I would teach the kids how to do the same--lean on God during the rough times---by praying with them at night. First we say a prayer asking for forgiveness, then one of thanksgiving and then a prayer for others and our world and finally a prayer for ourselves and our family. It is so cute. Some of the things they say just melt me. Try praying with a little kid on your knees all lined up by the bed kneeling really close to them. Precious.
A prayer for Andressa, a prayer of thanksgiving and a prayer for the strength and tenacity to keep all of my promises.
Day 1, indeed.