.:24:. To Err.

lemonplant

:: when life gives you a lemon plant, have patience and watch those lemons grow!


During pregnancy or preparing for baby and the first years that follow, parents turn into walking talking teaching machines (and many years after). Trying to avoid error in parenting, perhaps? Unfortunately, error is inevitable.

| To err is human; to forgive is divine.” |                            – Alexander Pope

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Well, thank you Mr. Pope but forgiveness to oneself can be difficult and doesn’t feel very divine when I can’t seem to figure out my newborn’s needs, when I’m up all night with an uncomfortable child who can’t tell me what’s wrong, when a kiss on a boo boo is not the answer, when I first heard the words, “I don’t want you, mama.”

>Where did I go wrong? <<

What happened to my machine… that teaches “right” and “best”. How did I err and why does it not feel human?

This is so easy to think and so easy to point the finger at yourself. “Going wrong” is just not the route I thought I took. From the start I did what I was suppose to do.

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Per the suggestion of some psychologist somewhere I remember reading children’s books out loud while my little girls developed inside me. Even before that I quickly had my hands on parenting books – making sure my husband and I were well prepared to raise smart, curious and wonderful little people.

>This is where I went wrong.<<

Well, kind of. I’m not saying being prepared, educated and excited is wrong but…

I didn’t allow myself to just be. I found myself referencing every “how-to” book and following steps like a puppet. When I let certain things work themselves out and I relied on my gut for answers – those were the moments we I learned so much more. To watch in awe as their little brains developed. Physiological and emotional growth cannot be fully controlled by anyone else, but that being. It’s a beautiful thing that we (parents) think we have so much control over. We have a little more control at the beginning and then we pray (really hard), that are teachings help them decide what is “right” and “best” as they go from scooting to running a marathon right before out eyes. While they are figuring it all out… they will ERR and it will be ok – especially if we are there to tell them that it’s all ok because they are HUMAN.

We don’t get a report card to see how we’re doing with our children. We don’t get to meet with a coach who high fives us for our victories or benches us for our faults. What we get is this…

>without request, unprompted<< children who say “I wub you mama”. who look you in the eyes and say “thank you”… and then “you’re welcome” – because that’s how they hear it ☺️.  Who joyfully sing their ABCs and really everyother song you sing together. Who surprise you by counting past 10 one day (did I teach them that?) and curiously ask and tell me what color everything in the world is.

They are determined to complete tasks on their own, gently pushing me away… This is new to me. I’m proud but a tiny bit sad that my babies have hit the ‘no mama, I can do it’ stage. They are particular when it comes to colors and specific when we choose books. Decisions are complicated but powerful. When they make one, their excited eyes delight with joy and confidence… “I will brush my own teeth, mama!” “No mama, I will read the book.” “I don’t need to hold your hand, mama.” “I can do it ALL by myself.” This confidence amazes me. They can’t be trusted to do all the above by themselves just yet, but I can’t get in the way of letting them err.  We’ve all heard this and have probably said it before but, they need to fail before they succeed. The common conflict and result from failure is the fear to keep trying, the fear that failure may occur again. We can’t allow this fear in our children and at the same time, we can’t allow this fear in ourselves. We are HUMAN and we need to watch our little ones err, praise them for trying and encourage them to continue, while showing them that we also err and keep going.

As a parent, the most difficult part for me is knowing that they can keep going through failure in all aspects of life. That they can forgive themselves and others who may fail. I will not always be there to offer a helping hand or a wise word when someone shames them for failing, when someone discourages them or denies them the ability to succeed. But I can give them the best tools to embrace err, positively respond to negativity, succeed in their own way and be happy and confident little people.

Thank you Mr. Pope for shedding so much light on us humans – even before your fellow innovator, Mr. Edison, brought us an actual light.

Now, I must get on with my day… embracing err along the way.

 

.:14:. It’s a New Year {for PATIENCE}

 

family

Tried to take a normal picture, then decided it was much easier to enjoy the moment.

As another year passes by and a bright + shiny year begins, I’d be remiss not to reminisce… Not just on the year that flew by, but also the year before that and many of the years prior.

There is something so raw and welcoming about a new year. An untouched palette, a fresh start, beginning anew. The chance to try it again, make things better, challenge, motivate, encourage and accomplish. We can’t wait to fill our plates (that are most likely already full). So, why am I looking back when a new year is about looking forward? Well, for me this new year is a stepping stone to the years ahead. It’s my way of responding to my past. We cannot forget or ignore the past but we can learn from it and improve upon it. I believe it’s so important to reflect on our history in order to continue growing. As I think about goals and “resolutions”, I laugh a little because I know (first hand) how easy they are to break and that it’s really just another year… This year is slightly different. I’m not changing anything too dramatically but I believe that what I want starting now, will uncover some beautifully dramatic results…

>>>PATIENCE<<<

2015 (and the years that follow) will be filled with “enjoying the moment”, caring less about a clean house and more about quality time, less concerned about keeping up with life’s fast pace and more about being thoughtful and thorough, less about feeling rushed and more about accepting my own preparedness and saying “it’s ok”.  It’s not that I wasn’t trying any of this before, but I just wasn’t doing it fully. I wasn’t PATIENT enough.

This will be a year of new experiences, new discoveries, new words, and even new teeth… By the way, teething is an experience I never knew took so much patience! I knew it would be rough.  It’s rough to see your children in pain, hear their screams and cries for mercy as they wait for their pearly whites to slowly break through their delicate baby gums.  Ok, now when I re-read that, I cringe and completely understand why we don’t remember this stage of our life… because nobody is that patient, especially a child who lacks the vocabulary and comprehension to tell you what’s wrong or understand when you say “it will all be ok…it will pass…you’ll be just fine my sweet little peanut”.  They hear gibberish and feel an excruciating pain that only time can fix.

This year is the start of so much for our family… the beginning of that dreaded thing called potty training (times two), learning to share and care, all sorts of growing pains, and probably interesting surprises I just can’t fathom at this moment ;). I hope that 2015 will welcome me and my family to a place we can finally call “home”, where we can settle into a new life, new neighborhood, new house with a real basement and an actual yard (ok, I’m getting greedy now). I’m not naive to the fact that the year ahead is going to be hard – just like the past year was and like next year will most likely be – it’s a sort of “hard” that I have yet to experience because every stage of parenting brings new challenges that nobody is really ever prepared for, even if you’ve had kids before.  Every child comes with very different instructions that require a unique set of skills in order to navigate, understand and develop.  Now, when I say that the year will be “hard”, I’d like to stay away from it’s negative conotation.  Of course it will be hard – – it’s parenting! However, I am determined to accept it and work through all of the craziness with strength, creativity, determination, a lot of humor and most importantly… PATIENCE.

I’ve discovered something about myself throughout the years. Well, I’m IMPATIENT.  I’m sure many can relate and those of you that cannot… I am assuming you are made of gold, your heart beats to the tune of Amazing Grace, and your feathers have never been ruffled because they are absolutely perfect.

To be fair – I’ve met some very patient people that have inspired me.  BUT, we can all use an extra dose or two of this highly necessary virtue called PATIENCE.  Hey, I’d love a RX but it’s not that easy. This is a virtue I’ve been seeking to attain since I can remember. Maybe it was when I was 8 and I secretly (shh don’t tell) found all my Christmas presents before they were wrapped, or when I was 17 and took my parent’s van out for a drive when I shouldn’t have and ended up with a nice dent, or when I was 20 and I lost my patience with a friend whom I believe did me wrong, or especially when I was ONLY 27 and began to question why I wasn’t a mother yet, and then of course a couple years later (29) when I found out I was going to be a mother of twin girls and pregnancy felt like a never ending story of aches, pains, fat feet and unflattering clothes!!  We all carry a lack of patience in some shape or form.  As a mother I’m noticing how important patience is to my itty bitty learners who stumble, fumble, destroy, break, and love so hard it hurts.  My actions, my reactions, and my love for my children and those around me are examples I am setting for this tiny fraction of the next generation I am raising.

PATIENCE isn’t just a resolution or a goal, it’s a must needed change for all and it will be my main focus, right along side my innocent little angels who need me to be PATIENT more than I’ll ever know.

 

“Children are the living message we send to a time we will not see.” ~ Neil Postman